Sunrise to open before holiday weekend

Mount Rainier National Park officials had planned to open Sunrise July 8 but, in response to community pressure, will open the gates earlier.

Randy King, deputy superintendent for Mount Rainier National Park, confirmed at 11:15 Thursday morning plans are in place for an earlier opening. He said crews are shooting for at least Friday, July 1, but will have roads cleared earlier if possible.

Visitors should expect winter conditions, he said, as Sunrise boasts the highest paved road in the state of Washington. There may be limited concessions, King said, and portable toilets.

Area businesses began applying pressure early this week, concerned that delaying the Sunrise opening until after the July Fourth holiday weekend would hurt them financially.

This story will be updated later on this website and a full version will appear in the June 29 edition of The Courier-Herald.

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