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Contact: D. Rahier, 360-569-6501
Mount Rainier Superintendent Randy King advises that the public sledding area at Paradise will be groomed and staffed through Sunday, April 1. After that date the snow play runs will no longer be maintained and sledding will not be permitted in the park. Equipment used to groom the snow play area is needed to begin spring snow removal around the park.
While sledding activities will be ending at Paradise, great opportunities still exist for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter camping in the Paradise and Longmire areas. Before heading out, visitors are advised to check with park staff for current conditions (road, weather and avalanche). Spring can be a wonderful time to experience the park, but dangerous conditions can exist, so be prepared with adequate clothing and equipment for your activity and tell family or friends your plans.
The popular Ranger-led snowshoe walks will also continue through April 1. The walks are offered at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and are limited to 25 people, eight years old or older, on a first-come-first-served basis. A sign-up sheet is available at the Jackson Visitor Center information desk one hour before each walk. Snowshoes are provided by the park. A $4 donation from each participant helps the park provide the walks and repair/replace snowshoes. Participants should have warm clothing, hats, mittens and suitable boots - and don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses.
The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center is open weekends only, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 7 when it will begin 7-day a week operation. The Paradise Camp Deli, located within the visitor center, is also open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. during this time.
Paradise Inn is scheduled to open for the 2012 season on Friday, May 18.Reservations for Paradise Inn and the National Park Inn at Longmire can be made by phone - 360-569-2275, or online at www.mtrainierguestservices.com. The National Park Inn at Longmire is open daily and Spring is a great time to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mountain during an overnight stay. Businesses outside the park in the gateway communities also offer lodging, food services, equipment rentals and other amenities. For local business information web sites visit:www.visitrainier.com, www.mt-rainier.com, www.staycrystal.com, www.minerallake.com, www.destinationpackwood.com, or www.mtrainierguestservices.com.
As road and weather conditions change throughout the day, traction requirement may also change. All vehicles are required to carry tire chains when driving in the park in winter and spring. Traction tires may be advised or chains may be required at any time in winter. Obey the posted traction requirement.