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Northwest Traveler

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

Category: national parks
February 11, 2015 at 11:29 AM

Free entrance to national parks this weekend. But where’s winter?

Got the urge to get outside this weekend — and save money? It’s a free-admission weekend at all 405 U.S. national parks Feb. 14-16 in honor of Presidents Day. In Washington state, that means there’s no entrance fee at the biggies such as Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park.  Smaller National Park…

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Comments | More in Fees, national parks | Topics: fee-free days, national parks, Washington state parks

January 26, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Presto, change-o at Rainier’s Paradise, where it can be rainy or sunny, but without much snow

Just to prove what they say about how quickly conditions can change on Mount Rainier, here’s a comparison of what I saw on a drive up to Paradise on Friday, when it was pouring rain up there (right), versus what was showing this sunny Monday afternoon on the park’s webcam (below). What it hasn’t been doing…

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Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, national parks | Topics: Mount Rainier snow, Mount Rainier weather, Paradise snow

January 26, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Whiskey Bend Road closed by slide in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park‘s 4.5-mile Whiskey Bend Road, on the east bank of the Elwha River, is closed after the first mile due to a slide and extensive road damage, park officials reported Monday. Heavy rains and high winds earlier this month resulted in a slide that destroyed more than 50 linear feet of the roadbed…

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Comments | More in national parks, Olympic National Park | Topics: Elwha River access, Glines Canyon viewpoints, olympic national park

January 26, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Body of hiker found in Olympic National Park

The body of a  hiker missing since late December  has been found in Olympic National Park.  Here’s the word Monday morning from park authorities: “Searchers, aided by several dog teams, yesterday (Sunday)  located and recovered the body of missing hiker James Thomas Griffin in very rugged terrain near the Boulder Creek trailhead.  Griffin, 60, of Port…

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| More in Olympic National Park | Topics: James Thomas Griffin

January 15, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Get in free to state and national parks for MLK Day (and here’s a list of free days for all of 2015)

You can get in free Monday to national parks across the nation, and to Washington State Parks on Sunday and Monday. In honor of  Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this coming Monday, Jan. 19, the usual entrance fee is waived at all national parks, including Mount Rainier and Olympic. The customary entry fee is…

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Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, national parks, Northwest, Olympic National Park, Outdoors, Parks, state parks | Topics: free days at parks, National park fee free day, state park free days

November 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Dramatic photos of rampaging waters at Mount Rainier; park reopens Wednesday

WEDNESDAY UPDATE, Nov. 26: Mount Rainier National Park’s Nisqually entrance reopened at 8 a.m. Wednesday after Tuesday’s closure and evacuation of the park’s west side due to flooding. A logjam just above the Kautz Creek culverts on the Nisqually Road, between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire, caused the creek to overflow onto the road Tuesday. A park…

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Comments | Topics: flooding, mount rainier closure, Mount Rainier flooding

November 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Road to Olympic Hot Springs reopens after 3-year closure

  Olympic National Park’s Olympic Hot Springs Road, in the Elwha River Valley, has reopened following a three-year closure while contractors removed the Glines Canyon Dam. Visitors may now reach the Boulder Creek Trailhead, which provides hiker and stock-user access to the Olympic Hot Springs Trail, a 2.5-mile hike from the trailhead. Park officials urge visitors to consult…

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Comments | Topics: Boulder Creek Trail, hot springs, Olympic Hot Springs

November 4, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Mount Rainier plans to boost park-entrance fee to $25

Mount Rainier National Park is planning to raise entrance fees, as are other national parks around the country, as soon as 2015. Entrance fees at Rainier would increase to $25 for a vehicle pass good for seven days, up from the current $15, park officials said Tuesday.  Olympic National Park has proposed the same increase

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Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, national parks | Topics: entrance fees, fee increase, olympic national park

November 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Olympic National Park opens new viewpoint on dam-free Elwha

Both dams are gone from the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula, and in Olympic National Park a new accessible parking area and viewpoint opened Friday to give the public a better look at the free-flowing river. The 10-space parking area and viewpoint can be reached by following the gravel Whiskey Bend Road about one mile…

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Comments | More in national parks, Olympic National Park | Topics: Elwha River, elwha valley, Glines Canyon Dam

October 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM

$25 (and up) entrance fee proposed for Olympic, other big national parks. Have your say

Be prepared to pay a lot more next year to enjoy major national parks in Washington state and around the country. Following the lead of the National Park Service, both Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park are proposing to charge $25 for a seven-day vehicle-entrance pass, up from the current $15, said Olympic spokeswoman…

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Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, national parks, Olympic National Park | Topics: fee increase, park entrance fees

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