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Topic: mount rainier

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February 18, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Road work to slow midweek visits to Mount Rainier for months

Planning a weekday snowshoeing expedition to avoid the crowds at Narada Falls? If a midweek trip to Mount Rainier is in your plans, you might want to go soon. After that, your drive could take a half-hour longer each way. Mount Rainier National Park officials announced Tuesday that rehabilitation of 17.6 miles of road between the…

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0 Comments | More in highways, national parks, Northwest, Parks | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier national park, Paradise road

February 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Free entry to national parks, forests, refuges this weekend

Celebrate this Presidents Day weekend, Saturday through Monday, Feb. 15-17, with a free visit to a national park, national forest or wildlife refuge. All three days are included as fee-free days for 2014 for parks, museums, trails and other facilities operated by the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. In Washington, that includes Mount…

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0 Comments | More in Fees, national parks, Northwest, Outdoors, Parks, U.S. Forest Service | Topics: fee-free days, mount rainier, national forests

December 19, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Snoqualmie skiers’, Rainier sliders’ hopes ride on storms

EXPECT THIS: Friday will be the big snow day in the Cascades, forecasters say. (archive photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2012)

EXPECT THIS: Friday will be the big snow day in the Cascades, forecasters say. (archive photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times, 2012)

It’s not a record late-opening for the Summit at Snoqualmie ski area, which has yet to operate this season. But it’s getting close to a record. You can bet resort managers are doing serious snow dancing — with extra whooping and hollering — in hopes that this incoming storm packs a wallop.

Western Washington’s early-December bout of bitter cold with bright sunshine for day’s on end didn’t help the meager snow totals at many ski areas, include Summit West, whose website on Thursday was reporting an accumulation of only 7 inches so far. Even Crystal Mountain reported only 9 inches at its base.

Paradise, at Mount Rainier, is also feeling the pinch: There’s not enough white stuff yet to open the popular snow-play area for the start of school vacation this weekend, rangers said Wednesday.

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0 Comments | More in Northwest, snow sports | Topics: mount rainier, paradise, snowstorm

November 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM

A winter user’s guide to Mount Rainier National Park

Snowshoers thread through winter woods in Mount Rainier National Park. (archive photo by Ellen M. Banner/The SeattleTimes)

Snowshoers thread through winter woods in Mount Rainier National Park. (archive photo by Ellen M. Banner/The SeattleTimes)

Take a look at the webcam for Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise and you’ll see that snow is starting to pile up at Mount Rainier National Park. As visions of snowshoes dance in park lover’s heads, park staffers are preparing for winter operations and visitors.

“Mount Rainier provides outstanding winter recreation opportunities and has been doing so for over 100 years,”  Park Superintendent Randy King said in an email. “It’s a wonderful time to visit the park and area, provided visitors come well-prepared for the snow and road conditions.  Safe backcountry travel in winter requires an especially high level of preparation, caution, and knowledge.”

The park will transition to winter hours of operation and service on Tuesday, Nov. 12.  Here’s a roundup of what to expect all winter:

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0 Comments | More in national parks, Outdoors, Parks | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier national park, Mount Rainier winter

August 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM

After sampling the Wonderland Trail, we’re hungry for more

A hiker enters Spray Park on an alternate spur of the Wonderland Trail, with Mount Rainier in the background. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

Entering Spray Park on an alternate spur of the Wonderland Trail, with Mount Rainier in the background. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell / The Seattle Times)

I just returned from a five-day backpack on the northern tier of Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail and I’m here to report: You can do just a section of the famed trail — not the whole 90+ miles — and still have a wonderful time communing with our mountain.

You also don’t have to set any speed records to come away with a great sense of accomplishment — not to mention a big, goofy smile on your face.

I went with my 21-year-old daughter, with whom I’ve been traveling the world for years, and this ended up near the top of our best-trips-ever list.

She had mentioned a couple years back a captivation with hiking the Wonderland, the famed loop route around Washington’s iconic peak. But it’s been a while since I’ve backpacked multiple nights, and the Wonderland is known as a challenging up-and-down grind. Plus, there was the daunting logistical challenge of finding two weeks or so in which to do it — in both of our busy schedules — along with all the planning and food caching and permitting required.

So I took a look at doing it in sections. The mountain’s less-visited north side — including the Spray Park alternate route, with what’s reputed to be some of the national park’s most spectacular scenery — sounded like a good starter.

I researched it and proposed a 24-mile, four-night trip, spread across four different trailside camps, that wouldn’t wear us out and would give

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0 Comments | More in national parks, Northwest, Outdoors, Trip reports | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier national park, Spray Park

March 21, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Spring has sprung, so they’re digging out at Mount Rainier

With the first day of spring — which was yesterday –  Mount Rainier National Park starts to awaken from winter, so to speak, just like its hibernating bears that have presumably been holed up for the winter in cozy dens (though in reality they’re probably drafty, drippy piles of fallen logs that reek of wet bear and moldy leaves, when you think about it).

Dream of summer: Here's a summertime view of hikers on a trail at Mount Rainier National Park. For now, much of the park is snowbound, but work is underway to open for the season.

Dream of summer: Here’s a summertime view of hikers on a trail at Mount Rainier National Park. For now, much of the park is snowbound, but work is underway to open for the season.

What’s it mean to us? From now on, the road to Paradise will open daily, continuing through the summer season, instead of closing Tuesdays and Wednesdays (to name one thing). And keep reading, for a complete calendar of opening dates and a whole shebang of information sources on the park.

Other changes and openings start to take effect in coming weeks, though most of the park is still covered in deep snow.  Paradise currently has 167 inches — almost 14 feet — 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’,”

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0 Comments | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier lodging, mount rainier national park

January 17, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Get in free to national parks, state parks and forest sites on Monday

Hey pennypinchers, spread the word: National parks, Washington state parks and national forest recreation sites are all fee-free this coming Monday. That’s right. In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 21, you can breeze right past the gatehouse (in a safe and controlled manner, at no more than 15 mph, of course)…

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0 Comments | More in Northwest, Tips & deals | Topics: Discover Pass, free admission, Martin Luther King Jr. holiday