DATE: 1/13/10


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Donna Rahier, 360-569-2211, x2301
< /p>

Mount Rainier Acting Superintendent Randy King announces that the Henry M.
Jackson Memorial Visitor Center will be open during the upcoming 3-day
holiday weekend (January 16, 17, 18). The visitor center offers
information, exhibits, movies, book sales, food service and gifts for park
visitors. Visitor center hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.< /p>

Ranger-led snowshoe walks will be conducted each day at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30
p.m. Walks last for about 2 hours, traverse about 1.2 miles and are
limited to 25 people (eight years or older) on a first-come, first-served
basis. Sign up at the visitor center information desk one hour before each
walk. Snowshoes are provided, but a donation of $4 (per pair) is
suggested. Visitors should wear layers of warm clothes, hats, mittens,
suitable boots, sunglasses and sunscreen.< /p>

The snow play area, located immediately north of the upper parking lot at
Paradise, now has two tubing runs in place. This is the only area in the
park where sliding and sledding are permitted. Use only inner tubes,
plastic sleds, saucers, or other soft sledding devices. An air compressor
is available during snow play hours at the upper parking lot restroom.< /p>

Paradise currently has 73 inches of snow on the ground which is about 67%
of the average normal amount. Last year during this same time period,
Paradise had 111 inches of snow on the ground.< /p>

Visitors are reminded that all vehicles should carry tire chains when in
the mountains. Road conditions can deteriorate rapidly and chains may be
required at any time. Changing weather conditions may require that roads
be closed for safety reasons. Check ahead by calling the number below when
coming to the park. Drive cautiously, slow down, and be prepared for snow
removal equipment working.
< /p>

Road access into the park at this time of year is only through the
Nisqually Entrance (via State Route 706).< /p>

Most businesses in the surrounding communities will also be open offering
lodging, food, gifts and other amenities. The National Park Inn at
Longmire is open year round for overnight accommodations, dining
(breakfast /lunch /dinner), gifts, ski and snowshoe rentals and tire chain
purchases.
< /p>

Webcams are available for the public to view current weather conditions at
Paradise. Go to www.nps.mora / and choose one of the sites listed under the
Paradise webcam heading.< /p>

For recorded current road conditions, call 360-569-2211, press 1, then 2.< /p>

-NPS-< /p>