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Even though the calendar says Spring has arrived, most of Mount Rainier National Park is still covered in deep winter snow. Paradise currently has 167 inches of snow on the ground. Although it may be late June, mid-July, or even early August before the last remnants of snow finally leave the slopes of "The Mountain", park and concessions personnel are beginning the annual ritual of opening building; bringing utility systems back into operation after the winter closure; removing snow in and around buildings for access; opening park roads; and hiring of seasonal staff is underway. This process is like bringing small, isolated villages back to life each year.
Following are the park's projected opening dates for 2013. These are projected dates only and subject to change depending on conditions.
- Tuesday/Wednesday closure of the road above Longmire ends today, March 20. The gate at Longmire will continue to close nightly through April 15. The Paradise snow play area will close on March 31 and the guided snowshoe walks end for the season.
- April 5 - Westside Road open to Dry Creek
- April 15 - nightly gate closure @ Longmire ends
- Snow removal underway on Stevens Canyon, Cayuse and Chinook Passes
- May 6 - Jackson Visitor Center open 7 days-a- week
- May 22 - Paradise Inn opens for season
- May 24 - Stevens Canyon Road
- May 24 - Cougar Rock Picnic Area
- May 24 - Wilderness Information Centers - Longmire & White River
- May 24 - Ohanapecosh Campground*
- May 24 - Box Canyon Overlook & Restrooms
- May 24 - White River Road to Campground and Parking Lot
- Snow removal continues - Stevens Canyon, Cayuse and Chinook Passes
- Cayuse and Chinook Pass/SR410/SR123 - opening dates undetermined at this time
- June 27 - Cougar Rock Campground
- June 28 - White River Campground
- June 28 - Sunrise Road
- Snow removal continues - White River/Sunrise Roads
- July 3 - Sunrise Visitor Center & Day Lodge
- July 4 - Mowich Lake Road
2013 FEE FREE DAYS REMAINING:
- April 22-26 -National Park Week
- August 25 - National Park Service's 97th birthday
- September 28 - National Public Lands Day
- November 9-11 - Veterans Day weekend
The National Park Inn located at Longmire is open year round offering guest rooms, dining and gifts as well as a moderate supply of groceries. Paradise Inn is open daily beginning May 22 through October 7 and also offers lodging, dining and gifts. Both inns are on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. For reservations call 360-569-2275 or visit their website at www.mtrainierguestservices.com.
For information on other accommodations outside the park, visit these websites: www.visitrainier.com, www.mt-rainier.com, www.staycrystal.com, www.destinationpackwood.com, www.minerallake.com.
Visitors planning to come to the park should check for current weather and road conditions. Recorded information is available by calling 360-569-2211 or via the park's social media pages at:
*Ohanapecosh Visitor Center will not be open this season.