Fall Color & Winter Preparation Happening Now at Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier National Park, WA – October 7, 2010 – Park staff at Mount Rainier report that fall colors at the higher elevations are probably at their peak right now and continuing for the next week or two, weather permitting. The Paradise area, Reflection Lakes, Bench and Snow Lakes are showing outstanding colors according to the Paradise Visitor Center staff. The Sunrise area is also reporting a good color display as well as the Grove of the Patriarchs and Silver Falls Trails in the Ohanapecosh area.

Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga advises that this coming weekend, October 9, 10 & 11, will be the last weekend for car camping in Mount Rainier for this season. After that date, Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Campgrounds will close and park staff will begin winterizing facilities. White River Campground, on the park’s northeast corner closed for camping on October 3.

Other facilities closing after October 11 include the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center and the Longmire and White River Wilderness Information Centers.

After October 11, the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center will change to its winter operation schedule of weekends and holidays only. Hours of operation will be 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The snack bar and gift shop in the visitor center will operate from 11:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. during this time.

Paradise Inn closed October 4 for the 2010 season.

At Longmire, the National Park Inn and General Store are open daily year round, as well as the Longmire Museum, which provides visitor information, exhibits and book sales.

The road between Nisqually Entrance and Longmire remains open throughout the winter except during extreme weather. The road between Longmire and Paradise will close nightly beginning November 1 and reopen each morning or when snow removal operations are completed.

Closure of State Routes 123 and 410 are weather dependent. Call 1-800-695-ROAD for current status. 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.

Most facilities in the gateway communities surrounding the park remain open daily. Information on these businesses is available on the internet at www.mt-rainier.com, visitrainier.com, www.desitnationpackwood.com or www.minerallake.com.