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Update 2: More Facilities At Mount Rainier National Park To Open By Fourth Of July


Editor's note: This includes another correction from park officials that the Sunrise area will open sooner than the Fourth of July, but that the Visitor Center won't open until July 3.

While many, if not most, national parks are deep into their summer seasons, at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state some facilities have yet to open. That should change this weekend when the Sunrise Road and Sunrise Lodge are scheduled to open.

Mount Rainier Superintendent Randy King says the recent warm spring weather in the Northwest has helped with the snow removal and allowed the park staff to open these areas earlier than scheduled.

Sunrise sits at 6,400 feet on the eastern flanks of Mount Rainier. It is the highest point in the park that can be reached by vehicle, and typically is closed from late October until early July due to snow.

Paradise, on the southern side of Mount Rainier, sits at 5,400 feet and has recorded 744 inches -- 62 feet -- of snowfall during the measurement period so far this year. The snowfall measurement period is from July 1 – June 30. Approximately 3-4 feet of snow is on the ground in the Sunrise area.

The Sunrise Day Lodge is scheduled to open Friday, and the Sunrise Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 3.

Other openings include:

* Cougar Rock Campground........................Thursday, June 27

* White River Campground.........................Friday, June 28

* Mowich Lake Road.................................Opening Wednesday, July 3 - parking lot clear; approximately 3 feet of snow remains - lake is still frozen, but melting out; trail route finding necessary.

* Narada Falls Trail..................................Open – may close intermittently for construction zone safety

Other areas in the park that are open include Ohanapecosh, Paradise, Longmire and Carbon River. Numerous businesses in the gateway communities surrounding the park are open for business and ready for the summer visitor season.


You already made the date correction for this weekend's opening! I will let you know there's only a foot of snow left and the road to the visitor center has been plowed for 3 weeks. We're trying to get MRNP to treat May and June as part of the summer travel season. Paradise has been packed with visitors this whole time even though it still has over 5' of snow. Sunrise is a 1,000' higher and much dryer - we're so very glad to see it finally open!

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