Entrance Fees Waived at Mount Rainier for National Park Week DATE: 4/14/10 For Immediate Release-_Debbie Hannevig, 360-569-2211, ext. 6006 The Secretary of the Interior has announced that there will be freeadmission to all national parks during National Park Week, April 17 to 25. ational parks preserve our heritage, promote recreational experiences,and provide places of quiet refuge, said National Park Service Directorand former Mount Rainier Superintendent Jon Jarvis. Most people livewithin a short drive of a national park so I encourage everyone to spendsome time enjoying America’s great outdoors during National Park Week. While most roads in Mount Rainier National Park have not opened yet for theseason, the main park entrance on the southwest side of the mountain (StateRoute 706) is open, providing access to Longmire and Paradise. AtLongmire, the National Park Inn and Longmire Museum are open daily. TheInn offers food service, a gift shop /general store, and overnight lodging.The Longmire Museum provides visitor information, exhibits and book sales.The Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise is open on weekends only atthis time of year. It will begin full time operation on May 8. Guided snowshoe walks have been discontinued for the season. The Paradise snowplay (sledding) area is closed for the season. Recent heavy snows in the Paradise area have filled in the sledding runs, and the runs are no longer suitable for safe use. Sledding activities have ended for the season at Mount Rainier. Although spring has arrived, the park has been experiencing heavy snowfallat higher elevations. Paradise currently has about 13 feet of snow onthe ground. Snow tires are advised for travel to Paradise and chains maybe required at times. Visitors should come prepared for sudden changes inweather. Local businesses surrounding the park in the many gateway communities are open and ready for the beginning of the 2010 visitor season. For more information check these web sites: visitrainier.com,www.mt-rainier.com, www.minerallake.com. or www.desitnationpackwood.com.