Outdoors

Mount Rainier National Park reopens Sunday but leave your sleds, tubes and saucers at home

Business effects near Mt. Rainier caused by the federal shutdown

Hundreds have been unable to visit the snow play area this year at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park due to the federal shutdown. The Nisqually entrance near Ashford was reopened on Jan. 13, 2019, but snow play areas remain closed.
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Hundreds have been unable to visit the snow play area this year at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park due to the federal shutdown. The Nisqually entrance near Ashford was reopened on Jan. 13, 2019, but snow play areas remain closed.

One week after it closed, Mount Rainier National Park will reopen its Nisqually entrance near Ashford on Sunday (Jan. 13) but visitors will only be able to reach Longmire.

The National Park Inn, restaurant and gift shop in Longmire will reopen. Restrooms at Longmire and Kautz Creek also will be open.

The park closed the entrance on Jan. 6 after the forecast called for snow during the ongoing federal government shutdown. There wasn’t enough staff to safely maintain roads.

When the park reopens on Sunday, travel by foot, snowshoes or skis on the road to Paradise from Longmire will be prohibited. The road is also off-limits to vehicles as well.

All snow play areas in the park are closed.

Park Service officials said in a statement that they are using Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to bring park staff in to assist visitors, plow roads and remove trash.

Staff at entrance stations will provide information but won’t collect fees.

The park’s website and social media accounts are not being maintained.

On Sunday, the partial government shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history. The park’s closure has financially hit surrounding communities.

Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.


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