Free Park Admission this Weekend; Snowplay Opens Saturday
A message from Mount Rainier National Park on January 13th, 2011:
Mount Rainier National Park will be offering free entry during the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, January 14-16. This is the first of 14 fee free days in 2012 – National Park Week (April 21-29), Get Outdoors Day (June 9), National Public Lands Day (September 29), and the weekend of Veterans Day (November 10-12).
Superintendent Randy King invites the public to the park to enjoy the peaceful beauty that nature provides every day at “The Mountain”, to cross-country ski, snowshoe, play on the inner tubing runs, snow board or just to sit, relax and enjoy nature.
The Paradise snowplay area will be open, with limited runs until the additional snow accumulates.
Ranger-led snowshoe walks will be offered daily during the weekend. Walks start at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and cover approximately 1.5 miles in 2 hours. Walks are limited to 25 people, eight years old or older, on a first-come, first-served basis. A sign-up sheet is available at the Jackson Visitor Center information desk one hour before each walk. All snowshoe walk participants must be present at sign-up. Snowshoes are provided by the park only for those attending the ranger-guided snowshoe walks, and only for the duration of the walk. A donation of $4.00 per person is asked to help defray the cost of snowshoe maintenance. Additionally, the park concessioner rents snowshoes to anyone wishing to snowshoe in the park; check at the Longmire General Store or the Jackson Visitor Center for availability and rental rates. Or you may use your own snowshoes.
For an enjoyable snowshoe walk, you will need *warm clothing and coat, *hat, *mittens, *suitable boots (you will sink into the snow even wearing snowshoes), *sunscreen, *sunglasses.
Organized Groups: Snowshoe walks are available to organized groups of up to 25 people by reservation only. Group snowshoe walks begin at 10:30 a.m. on the days that showshoe walks are offered to the general public (see above). For more information, or to make reservations for a group snowshoe walk, call (360) 569-6575 or visit the Longmire Museum or Jackson Visitor Center.
Winter Travel Tips: Make sure you’re properly equipped for winter weather and travel before leaving home:
Chain Requirements:All vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park during the winter season (Nov 1 – May 1). This requirement applies to all vehicles (including four-wheel drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions.
Travel with a full tank of gas and bring extra food and fuel for your car in case you have to stay out an extra night. Gas is not available in the park.
Designate a contact person who knows when to expect you to return home.
Food, Lodging, Gifts: The National Park Inn is open daily throughout the winter offering overnight lodging, dining room and gift shop. For reservations call 360-569-2400 or visit their web site at www.mtrainierguestservices.com.
At Paradise, the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center will be open during the three-day weekend providing visitor information, food, and gift shop. For additional information visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/mora or call 360-569-2211.