Autumn has officially arrived at Mount Rainier National Park and as the leaves start to turn color, park facilities begin the extended process of winterization to prepare for changing weather. Most park areas are still accessible by road, even as facilities begin to close.
The visitor center at Sunrise, plus the center at Ohanapecosh, closed Sunday. The Sunrise Day Lodge also closed for the winter.
On the other side of the mountain, the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise will adjust to winter hours after Oct. 11. The Jackson Visitor Center’s winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekends only, with extended hours during the November and December holidays. The Longmire Museum is open year round, open daily during the fall/winter season from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The White River Campground has closed for the season, but the campgrounds at Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh will remain open for camping until Oct. 10, with first-come-first-served availability. Picnic areas at Cougar Rock, Paradise, Box Canyon and Ohanapecosh have estimated closure dates later in October, which are weather dependent.
The Paradise Inn closes for the season Oct. 3. The National Park Inn at Longmire remains open year-round for lodging and dining services.
Wilderness Information Centers at Longmire and White River will both remain open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, through Oct. 10. After this date, backcountry permits are issued through the Longmire Museum or Carbon River Ranger Station (call 360-569-6624 for hours). The Climbing Information Center at Paradise has closed for the season; climbers must register at the Jackson Visitor Center on Saturdays and Sundays, or self-register at the Paradise Ranger Station.
Additional seasonal closures will be announced at a future date. Before making plans, check the current status of roads, facilities, campgrounds, and trails on the park website at www.nps.gov/mora.