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Northwest Traveler

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

Topic: olympic national park

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August 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Chat rewind: Advice, tips on Washington’s national parks

Want some tips on where to stay,  hike or just enjoy the scenery, and scenic drives,  in Washington’s national parks? Brian Cantwell and Kristin Jackson, the travel and outdoors editors/writers for The Seattle Times, answered reader questions about about Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park in a live…

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Comments | More in national parks, Reader photos, Washington state | Topics: Mount Rainier Nationa Park, North Cascades National Park, olympic national park

July 31, 2014 at 2:57 PM

A flood of lovely national-park photos: Submit yours

Today’s the last day to submit your photos of Washington’s national parks for our Seattle Times photo contest. There’s been a flood of photos – more than 350 and still counting. The majority are of Mount Rainier National Park which looms large in Washingtonians’ psyches and lives. But there also have been some lovely photos submitted…

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Comments | More in national parks, North Cascades National Park, photo contest | Topics: mount rainier national park, North Cascades National Park, olympic national park

July 7, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Olympic park’s Madison Falls Trail closed for improvements

The one-tenth mile Madison Falls Trail in Olympic National Park’s Elwha Valley has closed to public entry for three weeks beginning Monday.  Park trail crews and volunteers will make significant improvements to the trail, including construction of a new rock retaining wall, installation of new railings and trail surface, and replanting of the work area. This…

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Comments | More in national parks, Northwest, Olympic National Park, Outdoors, Parks | Topics: elwha valley, Madison Falls, olympic national park

June 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Reader pictures from Washington’s national parks

We’re writing about Washington’s three big national parks, with stories on Mount Rainier  and Olympic National Park and North Cascades  National Park. In recent weeks we’ve asked readers to submit their best images from Washington’s national parks for a photo contest. THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks to all who entered; you can…

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Comments | More in Contest | Topics: mount rainier, national parks, North Cascades National Park

May 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Memorial Day openings for Olympic National Park campgrounds, more

Several feet of snow remain on the ground beginning at elevations above 3,000 feet, but Olympic National Park is adding a number of “open” signs to campgrounds and other facilities starting this Memorial Day weekend. The Staircase and Elwha campgrounds, both open year-round for primitive camping (pit toilets and no water), add drinking water and flush…

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Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, national parks, Northwest, Olympic National Park | Topics: campground openings, Lake Crescent Lodge, Memorial Day

March 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Olympic moves to No. 5 among most-visited national parks

Washington state’s Olympic National Park is No. 5 on a newly issued list of 2013′s most-visited national parks in the United States. The park moved up two notches on the list from the prior year. New statistics from the National Park Service show Olympic park visitors numbered 3,085,340 last year, up from 2,824,908 in 2012. The…

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| Topics: most-visited national parks, mount rainier national park, olympic national park

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

October 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Washington’s national parks happy to reopen (with sparkling fall colors)

This photo of Mount Rainier was posted Thursday on the national park's Twtiter feed with the note, "What a beautiful morning to welcome us back to Mount Rainier!" (photo courtesy of @MountRainierNPS)

This photo of Mount Rainier was posted Thursday on the national park’s Twitter feed with the note, “What a beautiful morning to welcome us back to Mount Rainier!” (photo courtesy of @MountRainierNPS)

“When I put the flag up today it felt so good,” said Ranger Maureen McLean at Mount Rainier National Park, as Rainier and Washington’s other national parks reopened Thursday.

They were among hundreds of parks,  monuments and historic sites across the nation reopening after the 16-day government shutdown.

Park gates and some visitor centers are open, but it might be a couple days before all is again running smoothly. At Rainier:

  • Gates were open Thursday morning, with the normal $15 per vehicle admission fee. Paradise and Stevens Canyon roads are
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Comments | Topics: mount rainier national park, national parks, olympic national park

October 15, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Olympic park lodge reopens, but you can’t walk on beach

Kalaloch Lodge, an oceanfront getaway at Olympic National Park, has reopened after getting special permission from the National Park Service. But there’s a problem. Guests aren’t allowed to walk on the lovely, wild beach right in front of the 64-room lodge because the beach lies within the national park – and the park still is closed. Like lodges…

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Comments | More in government shutdown, national parks | Topics: Kalaloch Lodge, olympic national park

October 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Recreation, economic blues as federal lands stay closed

At Olympic National Park, a gate blocks access to the park's Elwha  Valley near Port Angeles. Park roads are closed because of the federal government shutdown.

At Olympic National Park, a gate blocks access to the park’s Elwha Valley near Port Angeles. Park roads are closed because of the federal government shutdown. (AP/Keith Thorpe)

Washington’s national-park  gems — Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades — remain closed, thanks to the federal shutdown. Locals can, with some effort and confusion, figure out other places to go for scenic drives, hikes and other recreation.

But for out-of-state and foreign visitors, the national-park closures are ruining long-planned trips and have local businesses near the parks worried about lingering economic impacts.

“People come from China, Germany, everywhere to see Mount Rainier,” said

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Comments | More in federal shutdown, national parks, Northwest, U.S. Forest Service | Topics: federal lands shutown, mount rainier national park, Mount St. Helens

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