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June 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Summer’s here, and Sunrise is open at Mount Rainier

Catching a photo from a trail near Sunrise Visitor Center at Mount Rainier National Park. (photo by Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times, 2012)

Catching a photo from a trail near Sunrise Visitor Center at Mount Rainier National Park. (photo by Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times, 2012)

Some people say summer starts in Western Washington the day after the Fourth of July, but another good measure is when the Sunrise area opens at Mount Rainier National Park.

By that measure, summer officially started on Friday.

The Sunrise road opened Friday, and the Sunrise Day Lodge began summer operations on Saturday. The Sunrise Visitor Center is set to open full-time for the summer season on Thursday, July 3.

At 6,400 feet elevation, the highest point to which you can drive in the park, Sunrise still has snow on the ground but it is melting rapidly, according to park officials.

Also opened Friday was the White River Campground, which offers first-come, first-served campsites, and Paradise Valley Road, a one-way scenic drive that circles through the Paradise area on the mountain.

Click here for our recent package of stories on where to go and what to see in Mount Rainier National Park.

Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, national parks, Northwest | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier national park, summer getaways

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