Nisqually to Paradise delays and Kautz Creek area closure.
Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. Beginning May 29 to mid-July, all services at the Kautz Creek parking and picnic area are closed through the week. Limited parking on Sat & Sun. More »
Melting snow bridges and high streamflows create hazards for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers
Be aware of hidden- and potentially fatal- hazards created by snow bridges and high streamflows on Mount Rainier. More »
Search Operations Underway on Mount Rainier’s Eastside
Contact: Patti Wold, 360-569-6701
Friday, June 20, 2014, 9:00 am –Search efforts to locate a missing hiker on the Owyhigh Lakes Trail continue today. In an unrelated incident, an injured climber was air lifted off Double Peak near Eastside Trail on Thursday, June 19th.
The search for the overdue day hiker, Karen Sykes of Seattle, WA, continues today with ground crews scouring the Owyhigh Lakes area. On Thursday, June 19th, ground and air search operations focused on the length of the eight-mile Owyhigh Lakes Trail. She went ahead when the party of two reached snow at approximately 4500-5000 feet in elevation at 3:00 pm. The park received the overdue hiker report at 10:30 pm on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.
Search teams are currently performing ground operations. Air operations will be conducted later in the day if the weather improves. The search area is in steep, rugged terrain with snow cover starting at the 4500-6500 foot level. Ms. Sykes is a knowledgeable hiker and had adequate survival gear to overnight in the event of an emergency.
Current safety concerns for Ms. Sykes and ground crews include snow bridges, tree wells, and steep, wet, and slippery terrain. Yesterday, a searcher sustained an injury caused by punching through a snow bridge. He was air lifted out of the search area.
A second search, initiated in response to a spot locator beacon, resulted in an air lift of an injured climber off of Double Peak yesterday. The climber obtained injuries to his leg that prevented descent under his own mobility.
The German Shepherd Search and Rescue of Washington State, King County Explorers, and Everett, Olympic, and Seattle Mountain Rescue personnel are actively involved in the search efforts. An MD-530 helicopter from Northwest Helicopters in Olympia, Washington was used in support of the incident.
Operations and the information team are working out of the White River Ranger Station in the northeast segment of the park.
Did You Know?
In 1911, President William Howard Taft's touring car was the first vehicle to drive the newly-built road to Paradise. The road was very muddy, and the car had to be pulled through the upper portion by a team of mules. Learn more about Mount Rainier's transportation history at the following link: More...