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No fee to enter Mount Rainier National Park Saturday or Sunday

Mount Rainier Superintendent Dave Uberuaga announces the second fee-free weekend of 2010 will occur Aug. 14-15 to encourage Americans seeking affordable vacations to visit the national parks. At Mount Rainier and other national parks, all park entrance fees, including commercial tour entrance fees, will be waived. These fee free weekends are in addition to the usual fee free days: National Public Lands Day, which falls on Sept. 25 this year, and Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

In addition to supporting affordable vacations for families, the Park Service hopes to attract visitors to explore the numerous local businesses in the area.

With a forecast of warm, clear weather for this weekend, it is expected that very large crowds will be visiting the park’s most popular areas, especially the Nisqually-Paradise corridor, Sunrise and Tipsoo Lake-Chinook Pass areas. Heavy traffic with delays and lack of sufficient parking may be expected after mid-morning at all major park attractions; traffic may be turned around at the White River Entrance Station periodically through the weekend when all available parking has filled up in Sunrise and along the White River-Sunrise Road.

Uberuaga strongly encourages visitors to utilize the free shuttle bus that will operate between Ashford and Paradise on Saturday and Sunday. A shuttle also runs on Fridays between Longmire and Paradise. Visitors can board the bus at Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford. The Shuttle makes stops at Longmire, Cougar Rock and Narada Falls on the uphill run, and at Comet Falls and Cougar Rock, and Longmire on the downhill run. The shuttle begins in Ashford at 9:15 am and runs throughout the day. An additional shuttle at Paradise will transport visitors to and from the Paradise Valley Road, where overflow parking will be directed. The shuttle service will run weekends through September 5, 2010.

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