Public Invited to Participate Now in Developing the Future of Visitation at Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier Opens Public Comment Period on Transportation Plan
Ashford, WA – Superintendent Chip Jenkins announced today that Mount Rainier National Park will begin public engagement for a transportation and visitor use management planning process for the Nisqually (Ashford area entrance) to Paradise travel corridor. Several opportunities will be provided to solicit ideas, concerns, and impressions regarding future management of transportation and visitor use within this area. The Mount Rainier National Park Story Map provides a multimedia overview of important locations and essential questions related to the plan.
The popularity of Mount Rainier National Park is growing as revealed by the regular increase in visitation from year to year. Visitation increased 30% from 2008 to 2018. The park experiences extremely concentrated use with 70% of the more than one million visitors arriving between July and September with the busiest times occurring on sunny weekend days. Further, most visitor use is concentrated in a relatively small number of popular destinations such as the Paradise area, and in overlooks and trails including Carter, Comet and Christine and Narada Falls.
“This plan is important to help us prepare for a future in which we continue to provide high-quality visitor experiences” said Jenkins. “Mount Rainier has experienced increasing visitation over the past decade. This summer, public lands across Washington State are also experiencing increasing numbers of visitors. We cannot afford to delay our efforts to address sustainable recreation.”
The National Park Service is exploring proactive strategies that improve access to public lands while ensuring the protection of significant natural and cultural resources. Public engagement is an essential component to this planning process and will continue throughout the duration of the planning effort. Mount Rainier National Park invites all interested individuals and groups to engage in this conversation about the future of the Paradise travel corridor.
Public comments will be accepted between August 10th and October 5th. All interested individuals are invited to share their thoughts at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/
For additional information about the planning effort, virtual public meeting, and next steps please visit http://parkplanning.nps.gov/