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Fall colors coming to life on the mountain | FALL HARVEST
Warm sunny days, mild temperatures and cool nights are ushering in the fall colors at Mount Rainier for visitors to enjoy. For the Mount Rainier staff, it is time to begin the annual winterization of seasonal areas (Sunrise, White River, Ohanapecosh, Box Canyon) before the winter snows begin.
State Routes 123 and 410 remain open, providing great opportunities for visitors to see the fall colors. While Stevens Canyon Road is closed to through traffic for construction work, visitors can still access Backbone Ridge, Box Canyon and adjacent trailheads via the east entrance near state Route 123. Wonderland Trail hikers as well as day hikers will be permitted to hike through the construction zone to access adjacent trails.
Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh and White River campgrounds are closed. The road to Sunrise is closed to vehicle traffic at the White River Campground gate. Bicyclists and hikers will be allowed to continue to use the road unless otherwise posted. All facilities except for a vault toilet at Sunrise will be closed.
At Paradise, the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center, Paradise Camp Deli and gift shop have transitioned to their winter schedule, opening on weekends and holidays only. Visitor Center hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The historic Paradise Inn closed for the season Oct. 1.
The National Park Inn and general store and the Longmire Museum are open daily throughout the year, providing overnight accommodations, dining, gifts and visitor information. To make reservations at the National Park Inn call 360-569-2275, or visit www.mtrainierguestservices.com.
Most businesses in the gateway communities surrounding the park remain open throughout the fall and winter offering a variety of services and activities. For online information on visitor services, accommodations and activities in these communities visit the following websites: www.visitrainier.com, www.mt-rainier.com, www.staycrystal.com, www.destinationpackwood.com and www.minerallake.com.
Even though current conditions are mild, park visitors are reminded that weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains this time of year. Be prepared for inclement weather or possible ice and snow on park roads.
Beginning Nov. 1, all vehicles in the park (including four-wheel and all-wheel-drive) will be required to carry tire chains that fit the vehicle.
For additional information, check the Mount Rainier web page at www.nps.gov/mora or call 360-569-2211.