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    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Deep Snow Conditions Will Delay Opening of Sunrise Area and the White River Campground; Entrance Fees Waived on June 21

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Date: June 17, 2011
Contact: Donna Rahier, 360-569-6501

Deep and persistent snow levels at higher elevations on Mount Rainier will delay the opening of the road to Sunrise until at least July 8. Park road crews, using bulldozers and a rotary snow blower, are working daily to remove snow from the road and expect to reach the parking area at Sunrise early next week. Once access is available, additional park and Washington Conservation Corps crews will be brought into the area to shovel out buildings and activate the power and water systems.    

Since July 1, 2010, a total of 907 inches of snow have fallen at Paradise. The record for the park is 1,122 of snowfall during the 1971-72 season.  Cool and wet temperatures have persisted into June, delaying snow melt in the upper elevations and slowing snow removal operations that began in March. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) road crews have faced similar deep snow conditions on Highway 410, delaying the opening of Chinook Pass on the east side of the park. WSDOT’s projected opening for Chinook Pass is June 23 at 10:00 AM.

Persistent snow conditions will also delay the opening of the White River Campground until July 1. The road to the campground is open and accessible.  Mowich Road opening operations will be delayed until snow removal at Paradise and Sunrise are completed. All other park roads and areas are open. Travelers are advised to check the park’s website prior to a visit to get updated information on road and trail conditions, services and activities. Mount Rainier National Park’s website is at: www.nps.gov/mora. For photos of current snow conditions at Sunrise, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Please check the WSDOT website, www.wsdot.wa.gov,for current updates on all highway and pass conditions in Washington State.

June 21 is a FEE FREE DAY at Mount Rainier!

June 21 marks the first day of summer and the next FEE FREE DAY at Mount Rainier National Park and all other national parks charging entrance fees across the nation. This is one of 17 fee free days that have been designated this year.  Other remaining fee free periods are September 24 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11-13 (Veteran's Day Weekend).

Fee free days serve to encourage Americans to visit and appreciate their national parks.

-NPS-



 
Sunrise Visitor Center covered in snow compared to without snow.
A photo of the Sunrise Visitor Center covered in snow taken June 9, 2011, compared to a similar photo of the Visitor Center from July 2010.
NPS Photo
 
A view of the Sunrise Visitor Center from the southwest covered in snow, versus a similar photo of the visitor center without snow.
A photo of the Sunrise Visitor Center from the southwest taken on June 9, 2011, demonstrating the snow conditions compared to a similar photo taken July 2009.
NPS Photo
 
The Sunrise bathroom completely covered in snow except for a small corner of the roof, compared to a photo without snow.
The Sunrise bathroom building is completely covered by snow except for a small corner of the roof, as is seen in the photo taken June 9, 2011 compared with the photo from August 2009.
NPS Photo

Did You Know?

The first photograph taken at Rainier's summit is dated August 14, 1888.

The first photograph taken at the summit of Mount Rainier was taken at noon on August 14, 1888. Among the group photographed that day at the crater rim are naturalist John Muir, and P. B. Van Trump, one of the first two men known to have reached Rainier's summit.