"Privately Run Tours to the Mountain" Mount Rainier National Park Transportation Tip by glabah
Mount Rainier National Park Transportation: 4 reviews and 2 photos
As stated in a previous tip, public transport services are quite far from Mount Rainier National Park. However, several companies operate bus, taxi or van service and/or commercial tours to the park from spring to fall. (If you try to come in winter, then you are on your own!) I have never used any of these companies, but this is to let you know they are available should you be wanting to get around the mountain and national park without driving there.
Frankly, there are many, many tour companies in Seattle that offer Mount Rainier tours, and getting here should not be a problem. Simply typing "Mount Rainier Tour" into your favorite search engine will yield many, many results. Most of these will do a day trip up to Paradise and then back to Seattle. This is OK, but it doesn't show much of the mountain or its surrounding area. If you want to see more, you need to look for a more specialized tour company. For example, Evergreen Escapes goes into the back country. However, it should be noted that the more specialized trips are also going to cost more money.
Some of these companies are:
Gray Line Tours:
This Seattle tour company that has been around for decades, specializing in tour bus charters and/or specialized trips for cruise ship companies and/or operating its own line of tours.
Ashford Mountain Center
At one time this mountaineering tour center offered shuttle services to and in Mount Rainier National Park. However, their web site is now closed down, and it appears they have ceased operations entirely.
For the past three years, a shuttle bus service has operated between Ashford and Paradise, only on weekends. This is due to the severe overcrowding of the parking lots and heavy traffic on the roads. It is a cooperative venture between the city of Ashford and the National Park Service. It operates from late June to early September. However, you still have to get to Ashford somehow.
Ace Taxi and Yellow Cab Inc.:
These are taxi companies that are able to deliver you from the Seattle and/or Tacoma area to the area around Ashford. In certain cases they are not licensed to pick passengers up at the SeaTac airport but may do many other locations.
Offers tours of various types of the mountain. Some of these are offered all year. Prices can be fairly high, but they also use specialized tour vehicles to get into locations where normal vehicles could not get. Some types of trips include certain meals.
Seattle City Tours / Tours Northwest:
Offers a day trip to the mountain from Seattle.
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