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Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King advises that entrance fees to Mount Rainier National Park will be waived for the upcoming federal holiday on January 19, which honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is the first of six fee waiver events scheduled for 2015. The others are:
February 14-16 –Presidents' Day Weekend
April 18-19 –First Weekend of National Park Week
August 25 –National Park Service Birthday
September 26 –National Public Lands Day
November 11 –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 (dependent on weather conditions).
Visitors are reminded that all vehicles (including 4WD) are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park during the winter months. Road conditions can deteriorate quickly at any time and mandatory chain use may be required even for 4WD vehicles.
The Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise will be open offering exhibits, a movie, information, gift shop and food services. Ranger guided snowshoe walks will also be conducted at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. starting from the visitor center. Sign up at the information desk one hour before the scheduled times. A $5 donation from each participant helps defray the costs for snowshoe repair and replacement. The Paradise snowplay area remains closed due to a lack of snow. Sledding/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 snowplay runs and to provide protection to the fragile Paradise meadows from damage. There is plenty of snow for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing so come to Paradise!
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