Attend a Meeting to Discuss Wilderness Use in Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier National Park is considering updating its wilderness plan to address pressures on popular trails.
Mount Rainier National Park is considering updating its wilderness plan, which could impact the hiking experience in some of the park's most pristine (but also incredibly popular) areas.
Approximately 98 percent of the park is designated as wilderness, meaning these areas have been granted the highest possible level of legal protection, preserving their undeveloped character for today's outdoors enthusiasts and for generations to come.
Wilderness trails at Mount Rainier have become increasingly popular, putting some beloved trails under pressure. Hearing from hikers about the future wilderness plan will help the National Park Service strike a balance between preserving Mount Rainier's beauty and environmental integrity with access for trail lovers.
Attend a meeting to learn about some of the ideas up for discussion in the planning process, which include:
- Creating new trails or loops for visitor use.
- Increasing recreational opportunities during the offseason.
- Creating a shuttle system on the Westside Road and in the Nisqually to Paradise road corridor.
- Considering a resource protection framework for visitor capacity and limiting use in some areas to preserve sensitive landscapes.
- Ecological restoration.
- Removing designated camps and allowing self-selected sites in some areas.
- Requiring bear canisters for backcountry camping.
- Removing some structures from wilderness areas.
Attend an upcoming meeting or comment online
Public meetings will be held beginning next week in both King and Pierce Counties. The full plan brochure can be read online at the park's page where comments can also be submitted. Comments are due January 16.
Before attending or commenting, consider some of these questions:
- What makes the Mount Rainier Wilderness special to you and why?
- When you visit the Mount Rainier Wilderness, what types of activities do you engage in?
- What does the term “wilderness” mean to you, and how does it relate to the Mount Rainier Wilderness?
- Imagine you are visiting the Mount Rainier Wilderness 20 years from now. What conditions, experiences, visitor services, and facilities would you like to see?
- What types of activities do you consider important and appropriate in wilderness? And inappropriate?
- What are your thoughts on: Food storage practices? Use of designated camps? Day use permits?
Seattle on Nov. 16
Monday, November 16, 2015, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Seattle Public Library, Douglass-Truth Branch
2300 E. Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122
Tacoma on Nov. 17
Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 5-7 p.m.
Tacoma Public Library
1102 Tacoma Ave. South
Tacoma, WA 98402
Ashford on Nov. 18
Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Mount Rainier National Park, Education Center
55210 238th Ave. E.
Ashford, WA 98304
Buckley on Nov. 19
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Pierce County Library, Buckley Branch
123 S. River Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321