As of Friday, January 16, 2015
MT. RAINIER - Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King says entrance fees to Mount Rainier National Park will be waived for the coming federal holiday on Monday, Jan. 19, which honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This is the first of six fee waiver events scheduled for 2015. The others are Feb. 14-16 for Presidents’ Day weekend, April 18-19 for the first weekend of National Park Week, Aug. 25 (National Park Service birthday), Sept. 26 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans Day.
Only the southwest entrance (Nisqually) on State Route 706 is open to vehicle access this time of year. All other park entrances are closed to vehicles. The Longmire and Paradise areas are expected to be open on Jan. 19 (dependent on weather conditions).
Also this coming weekend, the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise will be open. Visitors can explore exhibits, enjoy a movie, as well as shopping opportunities.
Ranger-guided snowshoe walks will also be conducted at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. starting from the visitor center. Sign up at the information desk one hour before the scheduled times.
Visitors are forewarned the Paradise snow play area remains closed due to a lack of snow. Sledding and sliding is prohibited until the snow play area opens. Currently there is between 30 and 40 inches of snow on the ground at Paradise. A minimum of 60 inches is needed to construct the snow play runs and to provide protection to the fragile Paradise meadows from damage.
However, there is plenty of snow for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.