Park welcomes visitors after an over two-week closure at the Nisqually Entrance near Ashford
Date: February 24, 2020
Flooding, mudslides, and damage to several roads in and around Mount Rainier National Park forced closure of all winter vehicle entrances in early February. Today, the park is pleased to announce that the main entrance has reopened. This entrance is located on State Route (SR) 706 east of Ashford, WA, and brings visitors to the Longmire National Historic Landmark District. As is normal during the winter, access from Longmire to Paradise is closed nightly and timing of the reopening each morning is dependent upon local conditions.
Services currently available in Longmire include access to snow-covered trails, the Longmire Museum and Visitor Center, and limited food, beverage, and retail items at the Longmire Gift Shop. More information on National Park Inn services can be found at mtrainierguestservices.com.
During the extended closure of the park’s entrance on SR 706, National Park Service (NPS) employees have worked with the United States Forest Service (USFS), WSDOT, and Pierce County to support needs of park neighbors, and ensure availability of emergency access routes. In addition, NPS and Rainier Guest Services staff repaired damaged park infrastructure and utilities and maintained systems inside the park that are critical to public access. The park road crew also repaired the primary entrance road, which had been undermined by excessive runoff.
Elsewhere in the park, access to the Carbon River area remains blocked due to a significant washout on Pierce County’s Fairfax Forest Reserve Road and loss of most of the NPS road adjacent to the Carbon River trailhead parking area. Updates for Fairfax Forest Reserve Road access can be found via the Pierce County road alert webpage, but both Pierce County and the NPS anticipate extended delays for public vehicle access to the Carbon River Ranger Station and the Carbon River trailhead parking area.