Park Entrance Fees to be Waived July 18-19

DATE: 7/15/09

For Immediate Release

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

Mount Rainier Acting Superintendent Randy King announces the second of
three fee-free weekends will occur July 18-19 to encourage Americans
seeking affordable vacations to visit the national parks. At Mount Rainier
and other national parks, all park entrance fees, including commercial tour
entrance fees, will be waived. These fee free weekends are in addition to
the usual fee free days: National Public Lands Day, which falls on
September 26 this year, and Veterans Day, November 11.< /p>

In addition to supporting affordable vacations for families, the Park
Service hopes to give a small shot in the arm to businesses in the area.
Visitor spending in Pierce County last year totaled $968.1 million. Mount
Rainier National Park tourism dollars contributed $50.7 million into the
local economy.< /p>

This summer’s high visitation combined with spectacular weather occurring
on the weekends has led to significant parking problems in the Paradise and
Longmire areas. This has caused frustration amongst drivers of private
vehicles and safety hazards along the roadway as drivers attempt to park
cars where insufficient space exists. Acting Superintendent King strongly
encourages visitors to utilize the free shuttle bus that operates between
Longmire and Paradise on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can board
the bus at the historic Longmire Gas Station and makes stops at Cougar Rock
and Narada Falls on the uphill run, and at Comet Falls and Cougar Rock on
the downhill run. On Saturday and Sunday only, visitors can board the bus
in Ashford at Whittaker Mountaineering (on State Route 706), connecting
with the Paradise Shuttle in Longmire.< /p>

Since parking at Paradise is very limited again this summer due to
construction work on the lower parking area adjacent to the old Jackson
Visitor Center, an additional shuttle will transport visitors to and from
the Paradise Valley Road, where overflow parking is being directed.< /p>

The shuttle service will run through September 6, 2009.< /p>

For shuttle schedules and other park information, check the park’s web page
at /mora< /a>.< /p>

-NPS-< /p>