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Contact: Mount Rainier Media Line, 360-569-6510
Ashford, WA – Mount Rainier National Park, in response to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State and County Public Health Service guidelines for social distancing and ensuring safety of all operations that serve the public, is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Tuesday, March 24, at 1:30 p.m. Mount Rainier National Park will close all park roads to public vehicle access. This closure will prohibit all vehicles, including cars, buses, motorcycles and nonmotorized vehicles such as bicycles from entering the park. The park’s main gate near Ashford will also be closed. Updates to this temporary closure will be provided on the park’s Twitter account - @MountRainierNPS.
The park will continue to maintain critical systems and infrastructure during the public closure. The park access road starting at the Nisqually Entrance remains closed to pedestrians, and vehicles should not block park gates or access roads at any time. Updated guidelines for acquiring backcountry and climbing permits will be announced on the park’s webpage – www.nps.gov/mora. The park will not conduct on-site public or educational programs, collect trash from public areas, or operate or provide public restrooms anywhere in the park. Access to the Carbon River area in the northwest corner of the park remains closed due to the washout of the Fairfax Forest Reserve Road.
The National Park Inn, gift shop and restaurant operated by Rainier Guest Services are also now closed; please visit mtrainierguestservices.com for the latest updates on Inn operations.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Mount Rainier National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor COVID-19. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.
Mount Rainier National Park’s vast backcountry will remain accessible to the public for dispersed recreation in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance. Visitors can still enjoy self-directed, winter recreation, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, on the sections of Highway 410 (via Enumclaw, WA) and Highway 123 (near Packwood, WA) that are located within the boundaries of the park. All regulations concerning backcountry access use apply during the winter to these roads, including the restrictions on pets. Visitors are encouraged to visit the park’s website to learn about safe winter recreation in the park. Once snow clearing on Highways 410/123 begins in the spring, winter recreation access on roads will cease.
People visiting the park’s backcountry during this pandemic should adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, visitors should practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe.
The NPS also encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Mount Rainier, including:
- Exploring the park from home through the newly released Mount Rainier National Park Virtual Tour! This interactive map reveals many wonders of our iconic park.
Check the webcams for a mountain fix.
Explore the Mount Rainier National Park website.
Take in some amazing views through 360 video.
And, finally, share and search other #ShareMyRainier experiences on social media.
Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations. The National Park Inn, gift shop and restaurant are closed; please visit mtrainierguestservices.com for the latest updates.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Last updated: March 24, 2020