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National Park Week | April 21-29
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King advises that April 21
– 29 is designated as National Park Week across the nation. In celebration
of this week, the Secretary of the Interior has announced that admission to
all National Parks will be free during that time.
The theme for the week is “Picture Yourself in a National Park”, so bring
your cameras and make photo memories of your visit to Mount Rainier with
over 17 feet of snow on the ground at Paradise. About 10 inches is on the
ground at Longmire. The snow play (sledding) area at Paradise has closed
for the season and the ranger-led snow shoe walks have concluded.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are still very popular activities
during the Spring season. Check with Rangers for current weather and
avalanche conditions before heading out on your trip.
While many of the areas and roads at Mount Rainier still remain under
winter snows, the southwest area of the park (State Route 706), including
Longmire and Paradise is open.
The Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise will be open daily during
this period, offering visitor information, food service and gift shop. A
special Junior Ranger program will be given on Saturday, April 21 from
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the visitor center.
The National Park Inn at Longmire is open year round providing overnight
accommodations, dining and a gift shop – a great place for a getaway in
early Spring. The Carbon River area is currently snow free and provides a
great opportunity for hikers and bicyclists.
The road from Longmire to Paradise is closed nightly at Longmire and
reopens each day after the roads have been plowed and maintained. If
unusually heavy snowfall occurs or other conditions are present making the
road unsafe, it may be closed to the public at any time. Through April 30
park visitors must carry tire chains in their vehicles when traveling on
park roads as Spring weather in the mountains is very unpredictable and
sudden snow storms may necessitate chains for safe travel.
Local businesses in the gateway communities surrounding the park are also
open and ready for the beginning of the 2012 visitor season. For more
information visit these websites: www.visitrainier.com, www.mt-rainier.com
, www.staycrystal.com, www.destinationpackwood.com, www.minerallake.com,
The Skate Creek Road (Forest Service Road 52) which travels along the
park’s southeastern boundary east of Ashford to Packwood is expected to
open to the public on Friday, April 27.