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Monday, February 17 is President's Day, a federal holiday. Mount Rainier and other national park areas will be celebrating this holiday with a fee free weekend February 15 through February 17. Visitors are invited to come enjoy winter at the park, to ski, snowshoe, snow board, or to have fun on the snowplay runs at Paradise.
It's also Valentine's weekend and the National Park Inn at Longmire is offering a special four course Valentine's dinner on Friday, February 14, and Saturday, February 15 from 5-8 p.m. For reservations call 360-569-2411. For hotel reservations call 360-569-2275 or go online to www.mtrainierguestservices.com
Currently approximately 110 inches of snow is on the ground at Paradise, with more expected over the next several days. The road between Longmire and Paradise is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., subject to weather conditions. Heavy snow and avalanche conditions may delay or prevent opening of this road section. Safety of park visitors is the top concern for park staff when making the daily decisions on road opening. Visitors are reminded that tire chains must be carried in all vehicles when entering the park during the winter. Chain requirements may be in effect at any time, if road conditions deteriorate.
The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center will be open throughout the 3-day weekend. Guided snowshoe hikes lasting about two hours, will be led by park staff each day at 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Sign up at the visitor center desk one hour before each walk begins. Snowshoes are provided. Each participant is asked to donate $5 to help provide the walks and support repair/replacement of snowshoes. Dress warm, with layers of clothing, hats, gloves and suitable boots for snowshoeing, sunglasses and sunscreen. If you are adventuring out on your own, check the weather forecast and avalanche conditions before you go. Winter area maps, avalanche and weather forecast information is available at the Jackson Visitor Center (weekends) and the Longmire Information Center (daily) or with the Northwest Avalanche Center www.nwac.us/forecast/
For current conditions follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and the Mount Rainier webpage at www.nps.gov/mora . Park information is also available at 360-569-2211. To see current webcam pictures at the mountain, go to www.nps.gov/mora and click on the webcams link.