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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

April 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Free days at Mount Rainier, but still winter in Paradise

America’s national parks will be fee-free on April 19 and April 20, including Mount Rainier National Park. (Washington state parks are fee-free on April 19 and on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day)

But don’t go rushing up to Paradise, the visitor area at  5,400 feet on Mount Rainier, expecting to take a hike or see the wildflowers.  It’s still deep in snow as this gloomy photo taken Thursday midday from the park’s webcam at the Paradise parking lot shows.

It's still winter up at Mount Rainier's Paradise, with hardly any visitors on Thursday morning. But if the sun shines you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing or snowy sightseeing for free since no park admission will be charged this weekend. (National Park Service webcam pix)

It’s still winter up at Mount Rainier’s Paradise, with hardly any visitors on Thursday. But if the sun shines you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing or snowy sightseeing for free since no park admission will be charged this weekend. (National Park Service webcam pix)

At Olympic National Park, the popular Hurricane Ridge visitor area is still deep in snow, too, with temperatures hovering around freezing at Thursday noon.

So take a lowland hike instead, perhaps in the Mount Baker foothills , as Seattle Times writer Tan Vinh suggests, where you can shed the crowds and the snow for a springtime walk in the woods.

Comments | More in national parks, state parks | Topics: fee-free days, lowland hikes, Mount Baker


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