For Immediate Release
Contact: Donna Rahier, 360-569-2211, x2301
Throughout Mount Rainier National Park the annual process of spring opening is beginning. This involves opening up roads that have been completely snowed in since last fall; removal of slides, boulders and rocks and fallen trees from these roads, cleaning ditches of debris and repairing any damage; shoveling snow from park buildings; reactivating water, sewer and heating systems that have been shut down since fall; repairing damage from winter’s harsh conditions and many other maintenance activities associated with getting the park’s public facilities ready for another season of visitation.
The Washington State Department of Transportation also has their spring opening underway on State Routes 123 and 410 through the park. Check the WASDOT website at http: / /wsdot.wa.gov /traffic /passes / for state updates on these road conditions.
Snow was a little slow in coming to the higher slopes this winter, but it appears a spring rally is underway. On March 15, 2009 Paradise measured 143 (12′) on the ground; this year 116 (9.5′). Last year, snow continued to accumulate into spring and cool temperatures kept it on the ground late into summer. Spring storms have in the past brought considerable snowfall. We’ll have to wait and see what this spring will bring to Mount Rainier.
SNOWPLAY AND SNOWSHOE WALKS ENDING FOR SEASON
Mount Rainier Acting Superintendent Randy King advises that the public snow play area at Paradise will be staffed and groomed through Sunday, March 28. After that date, the snowplay area will remain open until conditions deem the activity unsafe and /or decreasing snow depth impacts the fragile meadow vegetation beneath the runs. The ranger-led snow shoe walks will also end on Sunday, March 28.
The new Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center is open weekends only, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 8 when it will begin 7-day-a-week operations.
PROJECTED OPENING DATES FOR PARK ROADS, CAMPGROUNDS, AND OTHER FACILITIES
FOR 2010 ARE LISTED BELOW:
State Route 410 /Cayuse Pass:(check with WASDOT)
State Route 123 @ park boundary:(check with WASDOT)
Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center (7 days /week:) May 8
Paradise Inn: May 21
White River Road to Campground parking lot: May 21
Cougar Rock Campground & Picnic Area (noon):May 28
Wilderness Information Center – Longmire: May 28
Ohanapecosh Campground (noon): May 28
Paradise Valley Road: May 28
Ohanapecosh Visitor Center: May 28
Paradise Picnic Area: May 28
White River Campground (noon):June 25
Sunrise Road: June 25
Mowich Lake Road: July 2
Sunrise Lodge:July 2
Sunrise Visitor Center:July 2
(NOTE: These dates are projected based on current conditions and
schedules, but are subject to change.)
Visitors should check the park’s website www.nps.gov /mora for current conditions and closures before traveling to the park, or call 360-569-2211 for recorded information.
Businesses in the gateway communities surrounding the park are open daily. Information on these businesses is available on the internet at www.mt-rainier.com, visitrainier.com, www.destinationpackwood.com or www.minerallake.com.