Mount Rainier National Park (Washington) has announced that beginning May 26, it will transition to a fully cashless fee system, accepting only electronic card payments for entrance fees and campgrounds.
This change is a significant move for the park, which has traditionally accepted both cash and electronic payments. The decision to go cashless comes as part of the park’s efforts to improve the efficiency of managing visitor fees while also reducing risk, according to the news release by the National Park Service.
Visitors who are only able to pay with cash will be able to purchase a prepaid pass from various local vendors before coming to the park. The park is currently working to identify vendors to sell these passes.
The Mount Rainier National Park Annual Pass, private vehicle passes, motorcycle passes, individual passes, and backcountry permits may also be purchased online at recreation.gov.
Advance campground reservations will continue to be available through recreation.gov, and payments for first-come, first-served campsites will be cashless. Concession-run hotels, bookstores, and restaurants inside the park will still accept cash or card payments.
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent, Greg Dudgeon, notes that “entrance fees are an important source of revenue national parks use to improve the visitor experience… Moving to a cashless system helps the park manage visitor dollars more effectively. Going cashless reduces the amount of time park staff spend handling cash, increases the amount of fee revenue available to support critical projects and visitor services, and improves accountability while also reducing risk.”
The fees collected are used for road and facility repairs and maintenance, trail improvements, accessibility improvements, visitor and resource protection services, and more.
The transition to a fully cashless system is part of a broader trend toward electronic payment options in parks and other public spaces. Many parks and natural areas are embracing new technologies and payment systems to better manage visitor fees and reduce risk.
Going cashless has a number of benefits, including increased efficiency and improved visitor experiences.
The move to a fully cashless fee system at Mount Rainier National Park is a significant step forward for the park, which has long been a popular destination for hikers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
The park’s decision to embrace electronic payment options will help ensure that visitors can access and enjoy the park’s many offerings while also supporting critical park projects and services.
For more information about visiting the park and fees and passes, please visit the Mount Rainier National Park website.