People looking for a quick getaway have several year-round options at Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks. But some lodges will be closing in the coming weeks.
At Mount Rainier, Paradise Inn, including the restaurant and café, will close for the season on Oct. 2. To spend a night at the historic 121-room inn, contact Mount Rainier Guest Services at 360-569-2275 or mtrainierguest services.com.
The inn will reopen for the 2013 season on May 22.
The 25-room National Park Inn at Longmire is open year-round.
At Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Hot Springs is scheduled to be open through Oct. 15 and Crescent Lake Lodge will be open through Oct. 31.
For the winter season, Nov. 2-April 27 – the Roosevelt Cottages at Crescent Lake will be available on weekends with a Friday night arrival only, a two-night minimum and up to a three-night stay.
Year-round options at the park are limited to two locations on the west side, Kalaloch and Lake Quinault lodges.
For reservations at Lake Quinault, contact 888-896-3818 or olympicnation alparks.com. Kalaloch is now managed by DNC Parks & Resorts at Kalaloch. It can be reached by calling 360- 962-2271 or going to thekalalochlodge.com.
ROAD WORK DELAYS
Officials at Olympic National Park are cautioning drivers on Hurricane Ridge Road to expect minor delays.
Work is being done to replace two culverts on the road and it is expected to continue through Friday, if the weather allows. Delays of up to 15 minutes should be expected through work zones, said a news release.
TRAVEL THE TRAIL
The staffs of the Nez Perce Trail Foundation and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail completed the trail’s Google mapping project. Visitors unable visit the trail now have the ability to travel the entire length of the trail using Google Maps and Google Earth.
This is first significant use of the full range of Google web tools to showcase, promote, educate, and enhance the public’s awareness and use of one of the nation’s historic trails, said a U.S. Forest Service news release.
Over the past two years, foundation members and trail staff have worked with Ron Hall, an Eastern Washington University geographic information system instructor.
The tour blends trail information into new technologies and gives them an interactive nature.
For those seeking a more in-depth experience, they can access the same information via Google Earth.
In 1986, Congress enacted legislation that established the Nez Perce National Historic Trail which follows the 1,170 mile route of the 1877 war and flight of the Nez Perce.
August 2012: 275,147
August 2011: 272,128
Difference: 1.1 percent
Year-to-date 2012: 759,654
Year-to-date 2011: 723,707
Difference: 5.0 percent
August’s count of recreation visits was the third best in the last 10 years, topped only by counts for that month in 2010 (287,089) and 2003 (277,539). August is traditionally the busiest month of the year at the park, as wildflowers reach their peaks and many trails finally clear of snow.
August 2012: 639,436
August 2011: 724,884
Difference: -11.8 percent
Year-to-date 2012: 2,045,486
Year-to-date 2011: 2,221,389
Difference: -7.9 percent
Large declines in the number of visits to the Lake Crescent, Hoodsport and Hoh districts drove down the parkwide August total. In the Hoodsport district, August visits dropped from 18,465 to 1,989, an 89.2 percent decline. The August total is the second lowest in the last five years, trailing only the 634,421 county in 2008.Jeffrey P. Mayor, email@example.com