2014 ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND TRAFFIC DELAYS–READ THIS!
The park is undergoing serious road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire and Paradise. The work is happening Monday-Friday. There will be delays of up to 30 minutes. Please plan accordingly in regard to picking up your permit by10am. Also consider this delay for ANY reason you may need to come into the park, including dropping off or picking up your food caches if those are part of your visit. The most current information will be posted at this link as it becomes available. Please check frequently.
March 12, 2015
EARLY SEASON HIKING
The winter of 2014/2015 has been unusually warm and dry, creating what will likely be an early hiking season this year. HOWEVER... please keep in mind that snow is not the single issue when it comes to safe backcountry travel. Many trails will likely have suffered damage from slides, bridges and footlogs may well be out over creeks and rivers, and large trees may have fallen across and obscured trails. Additionally, punching through into some body of water or a long drop can happen under these snow conditions. Conditions at the trailhead do not necessarily reflect trail conditions three miles further up the trail. You may start out snow-free and end up in a lot of snow with no sign of a trail as you gain elevation. It is a classic setup for getting lost in the backcountry during this time of year. Once you hit snowline the game changes. Use good judgement.
July 7, 2013
ADVISORY: Melting Snow bridges and High Streamflows create Hazards for Hikers, Skiers, and Snowshoers in Mount Rainier :
Over the July 4th holiday weekend, two snowboarders narrowly missed severe injury or death by unknowingly breaking through a melting snow bridge they had crossed. Last year, an individual was killed near Paradise when he glissaded down the slope above Paradise, and fell through a snow bridge into icy Edith Creek. All ended up in hidden creeks flowing under the snow. The individual who died drowned when he couldn't extricate himself from the water. The snowboarders had to be rescued from the precarious point they ended up on. This is a relatively common occurrence in the sub-alpine zone, and one that you need to be aware of to keep your visit from turning into a tragedy.
Here are a few simple steps to keep from falling from a collapsing snow bridge as snow melts out this summer.
-KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! Take the time to learn how to read a map of the area you intend to travel, plan your route, and note hazardous features. Mount Rainier National Park has multiple visitor centers and wilderness information centers that can assist you with planning a trip, and being aware of hazards such as snow covered water features.
-STOP, LOOK, & LISTEN, BEFORE YOU CROSS THE STREAM! Be aware of your surroundings. If traveling in unknown or unfamiliar terrain take frequent STOPS to reassess your surroundings for potential hazards. LOOK at land features in snow that look like there could be a water feature beneath it. LISTEN to hear how loud the water sounds. If in doubt, do not proceed over a precarious location.
Any questions in regards to hiking in the wilderness of Mount Rainier National Park and how to mitigate potential hazards can be directed to any of the Rangers in the park's Visitor Centers or Wilderness Information Centers. The Longmire Wilderness Information Center can be reached at 360-569-6650; White River Wilderness Information Center at 360-569-6670.
Also, hiking safety information can be found at the park's website at www.nps.gov/mora.
Please remember to have fun and stay SAFE at Mount Rainier National Park.