After careful consideration, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt directed the National Park Service (NPS) to temporarily suspend the collection of all park entrance fees until further notice.
“I’ve directed the National Park Service to waive entrance fees at parks that remain open. This small step makes it a little easier for the American public to enjoy the outdoors in our incredible National Parks,” said Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.
Other states and municipalities have implemented similar policies waiving fees to parks in an effort to support social distancing.
“Our vast public lands that are overseen by the Department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing.” Secretary Bernhardt continued.
At a majority of park locations where it is currently possible to adhere to public health guidance, outdoor spaces remain open to the public, while many facilities will be closed.
The Department of the Interior and NPS continue to urge visitors to do their part when visiting a park to follow CDC guidance by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.
Specifically, the CDC recommends high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, take extra precautions to be best protected against the spread of coronavirus.
The Longmire Museum, Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise, the Paradise Snowplay Area (including sledding), and the Paradise Winter Group Camping Area are closed until further notice to meet CDC, WA State, and Pierce County Public Health guidance. The park remains open for self-guided, dispersed recreation and auto touring. With an average snowpack of over ten feet, dispersed winter recreation can include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and individual snow camping. Visitors should follow the latest public health guidance from the CDC while participating in outdoor activities. The National Park Inn and gift shop remain open in Longmire; however, food is available on a take-out basis only. Foodservice is unavailable at Paradise.
The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. They will notify the public when they resume full operations and provide updates on their website and social media channels.
The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. Visitors in high-risk populations or that may come into contact with the elderly and people with underlying conditions, are asked to take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.
Please note there is no access to the Carbon River in the northwest corner of the park due to a washout of Fairfax Forest Reserve Road E. between Mowich Lake Road and Manley Moore Road on route to the Carbon River Ranger Station. See Pierce County information for updates.more. Visitors are able to access Mount Rainier National Park via the Nisqually Entrance.
Local lodges, cabins, and vacation rentals are available for overnight accommodations. Click here for a complete list of lodging near the park’s entrance in Ashford, Washington.
March 18, 2020