Mount Rainier National Park reopened public access today to the Carbon River area, reversing an emergency closure issued on November 15, 2021.
Visitors to the Carbon River area should be prepared to navigate around road and trail washouts and expect to encounter normal late winter hazards, including downed trees, snow, and changing weather conditions. Portable toilets are available at the beginning of the road closure area. Bicycling is permitted but not recommended due to extensive trail washouts and downed trees. All visitors should follow safety guidelines for winter season hiking.
Mount Rainier National Park trails staff members have recently stabilized a temporary path partially located on the adjacent Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest to allow visitors to access the park entrance.
The Rainforest Loop Trail is currently inaccessible due to downed trees and the Ipsut Creek bridge been washed out due to several high-water events.
Log bridges over the Carbon River have also washed out, rendering the Chenuis Falls Trail inaccessible. Visitors can access the Carbon River Trial and the Green Lake Trail by navigating around typical early season hazards.
The Carbon River area is subject to impacts from heavy precipitation events and the dynamic nature of the Carbon River. The Fairfax Forest Reserve Road has been partially washed out just west of the Carbon River Entrance since February 2020, but enough of the road had remained in place to allow safe access to the park. The remainder of that road segment eroded away during heavy precipitation in November 2021.
Mount Rainier National Park staff members are working in cooperation with area partners to restore stable access to the Carbon River area. Additional engineering design work is needed following the increased impacts from the November 2021 storm event.
For more information on Mount Rainier National Park, please visit the park’s webpage at www.nps.gov/mora.
-Published February 18, 2022