Ashford is your last chance for food, lodging, and gas before you enter Mount Rainier National Park  from the most popular Nisqually entrance. Rather than being a “last resort,” some of the hotels, cabins, and restaurants here are as good or better than park facilities.
Established in 1891, Ashford began as an end-of-the-line town where tourists stepped off the Tacoma Eastern Railroad cars to enter the park.
Get maps, current weather conditions, and lodging information from the Mt. Rainier Visitor Center inside Whittaker Mountaineering (360/569-2451, Wed.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.).
After a weekend of hiking in Mount Rainier National Park , head to Wellspring (360/569-2514) or Stormking Cabin and Spa (360/569-2964) for a relaxing massage, sauna, and hot tub.
Summit Haus (next to Whittaker, 360/569-2142, www.rmiguides.com ) sells and rents a wide range of camping and outdoor clothing and gear. This is also home to Rainier’s longest-running climbing guide service, RMI Guides.