Mount Rainier Superintendent Randy King advises that entrance fees into Mount Rainier National Park will be waived Monday, January 21 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday. Other fee free days at National Park Service areas in 2013 will include: National Park Week (April 22-26); Great Outdoors Day (June 8); National Park Service Birthday (August 25); National Public Lands Day (September 28); and Veterans Day weekend (November 9-11).
At Mount Rainier the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as well as the Paradise snowplay area. Public snowshoe walks are offered at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. A sign-up sheet is available at the Jackson Visitor Center information desk one hour before each walk. Walks are limited to 25 people, eight years old or older, on a first-come-first-served basis. A $4 donation from each participant helps defray the cost to repair and replace snowshoes. Visitors should dress with layers of warm clothes, hats, mittens, suitable boots, and have sunscreen and sunglasses. The walk is 1.2 miles and lasts about two hours.
Park visitors are reminded that all vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park during the winter season (Nov 1 - May 1). This requirement applies to all vehicles (including four-wheel drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions.
Chris Lehnertz, Pacific West Region Director, National Park Service, has issued a decision and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Camp Muir Rehabilitation Plan Environmental Assessment (EA). Lehnertz’s decision permits the rehabilitation of the Camp Muir Historic District, including the removal and replacement of non-historic structures at Camp Muir. The NPS will implement a minor modification of Alternative 3, which is also the preferred alternative identified in the EA.
Camp Muir is located on a narrow east-west ridge, or "cleaver," at 10,080 feet on the Gibraltar route, long known as the most direct route to the summit of Mount Rainier. The number of climbers has ranged from approximately 9,000 to 11,000 annually on the mountain since 2001. Approximately two thirds climb through Camp Muir and up to 500 climbers and hikers visit Camp Muir per day during the peak use months of July and August. The Camp Muir Historic District is located within a small developed site surrounded by Wilderness. It was listed in the National Register in 1991 and included in the Mount Rainier NHLD in 1997. The popularity of Camp Muir as a climbing base camp and destination day hike, and extreme environmental conditions strains existing facilities and adjacent resources. These factors have presented challenges to park managers in their efforts to maintain the site and its public facilities while striving to address safety concerns and minimize impacts to the natural and cultural environment.
Under the selected alternative, the Client and Butler shelters will be removed and replaced, and four new toilets will be constructed to replace five existing toilets. Toilets at the center of the ridge will be removed, and new toilets will be located on the east side of the ridge. The Historic Public Shelter will have a ventilated cooking area partitioned within the building to provide separation between sleeping and cooking functions. New shelters will be designed and constructed to comply with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. New buildings will house instruments and utilities and provide more efficient and convenient storage opportunities. New dry laid stone walls will be constructed to infill between existing retaining walls to direct the flow of pedestrian traffic and stabilize pathways along the ridge. The modified alternative does not import crushed rock to Camp Muir, which will address natural resource concerns related to importation of gravel, and reduce the number of helicopter flights to the ridge. Implementation of the selected alternative will take three to five years depending on funding availability.
The FONSI, EA, Errata and associated documents are available for viewing on-line via the Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/mora/ and selecting the project from the drop-down menu. For a printed copy of the FONSI, please call Mount Rainier National Park at (360) 569-6501.
The National Park Service appreciates the public taking time to share their comments, ideas and concerns, and contributing to the Mount Rainier National Park planning process. If you have questions about this decision contact Karen Thompson, Environmental Coordinator at 360-569-6507, Sueann Brown Historic Architect at 360-569-6715 or Superintendent Randy King at 360-569-6501.
Another exclusive from Mike Hamill and the Kalākora Gallery...
Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Western Hemishpere, stands at nearly 23,000 ft. Mike Hamill captured this image of a climber at Camp 2 on the Falso Polaco route as the sun disappeared below the horizon. This was Mike's 21st expedition to the mountain and he achieved his 19th summit a few days after this image was taken.
Mike's images from Climbing the Seven Summits are available through the gallery as signed prints. "The Stone Sentinal" is now available here. Check it out!
Mike is heading to Argentina in a few days to lead back-to-back climbs on Aconcagua (Climbs #22 and #23!). We look forward to more images upon his return.
Safe travels Mike!
When daily tasks lead
to gratitude you've arrived
at something special.
But can you arrive
at a place you have never
left to begin with?
For the way is long
But the quest imagined.
The winter holiday season at Mount Rainier is upon us. The park is open daily and throughout the winter the road to Paradise is open Thursday through Monday, weather conditions permitting. From December 21 through January 1 the road to Paradise and the Jackson Visitor Center will be open daily. The National Park Inn at Longmire is open daily year round offering overnight accommodations, dining, a gift shop and winter equipment rentals.
With the heavy snowfall in the mountains this week and still continuing, Mount Rainier’s road crew personnel have been focused on keeping the snow removed from park roads from the Nisqually Entrance, Longmire and Paradise areas. With all crews committed to snow removal, grooming of the Paradise snowplay area has been delayed and may not open on the 21st, but crews are hopeful for the weekend.
Weather and snow conditions permitting, snowshoe walks will begin tomorrow, December 21, and run through March 31, 2013. The walks are offered on weekends, holidays, and daily from December 21 through January 1. Walks start at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and meet inside the Jackson Visitor Center (near the information desk) in Paradise.
Distance & Time: Snowshoe walks cover approximately 1.5 miles in 2 hours.
Group size: Snowshoe walks are limited to 25 people, eight years old or older, on a first-come, first-served basis. A sign-up sheet is available at the Jackson Visitor Center information desk one hour before each walk. All snowshoe walk participants must be present at sign-up.
Organized Groups: Snowshoe walks are available to organized groups of up to 25 people by reservation only. Group snowshoe walks begin at 10:30 a.m. on the days that snowshoe walks are offered to the general public (see above). For more information, or to make reservations for a group snowshoe walk, call (360) 569-6575 or visit the Longmire Information Center or Jackson Visitor Center.
Equipment: For an enjoyable snowshoe walk, you will need:
1. snowshoes: Snowshoes are provided by the park only for those attending the ranger-guided snowshoe walks, and only for the duration of the walk. A $4.00 donation from each snowshoe walk participant helps the park provide snowshoe walks and repair and replace snowshoes. Additionally, the park concessioner rents snowshoes to anyone wishing to snowshoe in the park; check at the Longmire General Store for availability and rental rates. Or you may use your own snowshoes.
4. suitable boots (you will sink into the snow even wearing snowshoes)
Visitors planning to come to the park should check for current weather and road conditions. Recorded information is available by calling 360-569-2211 or via the park’s social media pages at:
http://facebook.com/MountRainierNPS http://twitter.com/MountRainierNPS http://youtube.com/MountRainierNPS http://flickr.com/groups/MountRainierNPS
Join the Mount Rainier community on Facebook, find out breaking news and road status updates through Mount Rainier's Twitter feed, explore the park and behind-the-scenes operations with our videos on YouTube, and share your own photos of Mount Rainier with other visitors in the Mount Rainier Flickr group."
The gateway communities surrounding the park are also open for business throughout the winter offering great opportunities for winter getaways. For more information visit their websites at: www.visitrainier.com, www.mt-rainier.com, www.staycrystal.com, www.destinationpackwood.com, www.minerallake.com, or www.mtrainierguestservices.com If you’re planning on going into the backcountry wilderness or climbing, be aware that winter camping and climbing are much more demanding and hazardous than in summer. Don’t venture out when storms are expected and get updates on avalanche conditions at the Northwest Avalanche Center web site - www.nwac.us before going out.
Carry the Winter 10 Essentials and know how to use them:
1. Shovel (dig a snow cave)
2. Full Length Insulated Sleeping Pad
3. Stove and Fuel (melt water)
4. Heat Packs
5. Goggles and Wool Pile Hats
6. Gloves (base/mid/shell layers)
7. Avalanche Transceiver
8. Avalanche Probe
9. Reliable Weather & Avalanche Forecasts
10. GPS (with extra batteries)
Park visitors are reminded that all vehicles are required to carry tire chains when traveling in the park during the winter season (Nov 1 - May 1). This requirement applies to all vehicles (including four-wheel drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions.
The staff at Mount Rainier National Park wishes you Happy Holidays!
On December 21-22 of each year we experience the winter solstice. Here on Mount Rainier which is north of the 46th Parallel the noonday Sun appears at its lowest altitude above the horizon. Those that have studied Capture Mount Rainier know a little bit about that sweet time of day when the light is perfect. With the sun staying low on the horizon the good light is lengthened, and you don’t have to get up so darn early or stay up so darn late. Although I prefer shooting sunsets because I can scout my location in the light and I'm already up, shooting locations in the park are much more favorable towards sunrises, not sunsets. Many an early morning shot is missed due to laziness! If you have a hard time getting up for early shoots in the summer, now is your time to get those shots. When the road is open to Paradise there are many great opportunities for shooting there. As an added bonus with substantial snowpack you can access specific spots that would be off limits during peak wildflower season. (Don't want to be a meadow stomper...)
~ Adam Angel
I am thankful for the guilt of knowing that
Half of the world is in a crisis
and the other
in a crisis of need.
I am thankful,
but not completely...
© Adam Angel
Your brain like any organ in your body works better when it's in a rhythm. The rhythm of walking combined with the added blood flow and oxygen put your mind into a heightened state. Every autumn I return to my daily walking schedule to clear the cobwebs from another busy year.
I do this with my daughter on my back.... She is now 7 1/2. Needless to say, it gets harder every year. This year I've found that even though I'm the one doing the walking my heightened state is contagious. Riding in the backpack she waxes poetic about the rhythms of life complete with metaphors, parables, and humor. You'd have to hear it to believe it. We often talk about the benefits of her unbridled imagination and the skills she will need to articulate that imagination later in life. We decided that inspired lives can be expressed with this equation.
Imagination + Craft = Reality
So you've got great ideas, you hear great music in your head, you see something where others see nothing. BUT, how do you contribute and share those ideas with the rest of the planet? That is where "craft" comes in, and that is the challenge to our children, to develop these crafts, some of which have yet to be discovered. It is no different for adults. We must continue to evolve as humans and as parents. It is our responsibility and challenge to grow and to facilitate that growth in our children.
How do you turn your new ideas into reality? That is your craft, one that you've spent years honing. Using this equation the most variable ingredient is imagination. If you want your reality to change quickly, play with your imagination.
I don't think anyone will argue that digital photography has opened new paths of creativity in image making. After the initial investment in equipment, creating images is virtually free (ha ha). I thought this would be a boon for young children who could shoot at-will without their parents having to waste $$ on film and processing. I soon realized however that this was only promoting thoughtlessness on the part of the child. It was creating detachment from the creative process, and yet another unfinished task. Instant feedback on the LCD screen, and then safely archived on your computer, where many images sit unfinished "forever." Sitting a child down at a computer to process and print photos was a computer lesson, not a lesson in creative mindfulness. Time at the computer will come later, no doubt.
One of the great things about film that I forgot over the past decade is the "commitment" that comes with pressing the shutter. That commitment of spending 75 cents every time the shutter is pressed triggers a sense of responsibility to the outcome, and hence the impulse to take a deeper look. That "deeper look" is what was missing and has since been returned with a new version of an old tool. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S. This camera instantly took my daughter from "spray and pray" to thoughtful consideration of what was happening in front of her. The creative process for her is now much shorter, more tangible, and more deliberate. The small prints that emerge directly from the camera are instant objects that become part of larger creative endeavors such as photo books, collages, and multi-material concepts. What's old is new again...
November’s storms mark the transition from snow-free to winter conditions at Mount Rainier, one of the snowiest places on the planet.
Superintendent Randy King said “Mount Rainier provides outstanding winter recreation opportunities and has been doing so for over 100 years. It’s a wonderful time to visit the park and area, provided visitors come prepared for winter conditions. The recent, successful search for two overdue snowboarders above Paradise, and the tragic deaths of five visitors last winter, remind us that safe backcountry travel – whether going out for the day, or overnight - requires a high level of preparation, caution and knowledge.”
The park transitioned to winter hours of operation and services in early November. The gate at Longmire is closed nightly through March to keep visitors and plow operators safe during road opening. New this winter and starting November 27, the road between Longmire and Paradise will be closed to public travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Longmire and the park will remain open seven days a week, barring major storm events.
“We are strategically deploying available park staff and resources to provide access to Paradise Thursday through Monday, the five days of the week with greatest visitation”, King said.
Visitation statistics show that Tuesday and Wednesday are, on average, the park’s least visited days, with fewer than 60 visitor vehicles coming through the Nisqually Entrance on a typical day. By focusing staff on fewer days, the park will be better able to provide access and services during times of greatest visitation, including more consistent road plowing and emergency patrols for visitor safety. The area above Longmire will be closed to overnight camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because safe road access won’t be available.
On Thursdays through Mondays, and every day during the Christmas holiday, the road from Longmire to Paradise will open as soon as the park’s snow plows can make it safe for travel. In good weather the road may open as early as 7:00 AM, but in bad weather (or following a heavy snowfall) the road opening may be delayed until late morning or, in some cases, may not open at all. All vehicles are required to carry tire chains when entering the park. Road conditions can deteriorate quickly during the day and mandatory chain use may be required even for 4WD vehicles.
To better accommodate visitor needs and reduce energy costs, the visitor information center at Longmire will move across the road from the Longmire Museum to the historic Administration Building, in the space occupied by the Wilderness Information Center during the summer. Park rangers will be available seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM to provide information on hikes, locations of interest, and interpretive map talks for winter visitors to the Longmire Historic District. Watch for more information on hikes and other exciting programs that will be offered at Longmire on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!
Located at Longmire, the historic National Park Inn is open year round, providing dining, lodging and a gift shop. For reservations call 360-569-2275. Businesses in the gateway communities are also open throughout the winter. Check these websites for contact information: www.visitrainier.com, www.mt-rainier.com, www.minerallake.com, www.mtrainierguestservices.com, www.staycrystal.com, or www.destinationpackwood.com
The Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise will be open on weekends and holidays through March. The Paradise snowplay/sledding area will open during the Christmas holiday provided snow depth is adequate.
Highways 123 and 410, and the Stevens Canyon Road east of Paradise, and the White River, Sunrise and Mowich Lake Roads are now closed to vehicle access for the winter, but remain open to winter recreation.
There’s always plenty to do in and around Mount Rainier, any day of the week!
A puja is a Tibetan Bhuddist prayer ritual performed by holy Lamas to bless an expedition before climbing begins. The ceremony is said to keep the expedition safe. Mike Hamill took this photo at Everest base camp during his third Mount Everest expedition where he summited for the second time. Both Sherpa Lamas leading the prayers (in the picture) have become close friends through many Himalayan expeditions. Sherpas don't differentiate between religion and life; their Bhuddist traditions pervade all aspects of daily life including climbing.
Mike's images from Climbing the Seven Summits are available through the gallery as signed prints. "Puja" from page 86 is now available here. Check it out!
Mike is heading to Antarctica in a few days to lead another climb on Mt. Vinson, you guessed it another one of the seven summits that Mike guides. We look forward to more images upon his return.
Safe travels Mike!
I'll never forget approaching the new High Camp Lodge at White Pass and noticing the door handles made from discarded lift cable. Two years and many designs later we've finally installed the cable handrail made from the Great White Lift at White Pass. Hopefully they don't come up short this winter! Thanks for the awesome work Tyler Forman. This is a huge addition to the Gallery. Every time I go up to the office I get to hold on to a little piece of the mountain.
Warm sunny days, mild temperatures and cool nights are ushering in the Fall colors at Mount Rainier for visitors to enjoy. For the Mount Rainier staff that means it is time to begin the annual winterization of seasonal areas (Sunrise, White River, Ohanapecosh, Box Canyon) before the winter snows begin. With the upcoming Columbus Day holiday on October 8, that process is getting underway.
State Routes 123 and 410 remain open providing great opportunities for visitors to see the fall colors. While the Stevens Canyon Road is closed to through traffic for construction work, visitors can still access Backbone Ridge, Box Canyon and adjacent trailheads via the East Entrance near State Route 123. Wonderland Trail hikers as well as day hikers will be permitted to hike through the construction zone to access adjacent trails. On the Paradise side the road is closed from just east of the intersection with the Paradise Valley Road to the east end of the tunnel at Box Canyon.
Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Campgrounds will be open through Monday October 8. White River Campground is closed. The Ohanapecosh Visitor Center, Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center, and Longmire and White River Wilderness Information Centers will also remain open through that date. The road to Sunrise will remain open through that date, then closed to vehicle traffic at the White River Campground gate. Bicyclists and hikers will be allowed to continue to use the road unless otherwise posted. All facilities except for a vault toilet at Sunrise, will be closed.
At Paradise, the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center, Paradise Camp Deli and Gift Shop will transition to their winter schedule opening on weekends and holidays only. Visitor Center hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The historic Paradise Inn closed for the season on October 1.
The National Park Inn and General Store and the Longmire Museum are open daily throughout the year, providing overnight accommodations, dining, gifts, and visitor information. A great weekday or weekend getaway to enjoy some quiet time. To make reservations at the National Park Inn call 360-569-2275, or go online to www.mtrainierguestservices.com.
Most businesses in the gateway communities surrounding the park do remain open throughout the fall and winter offering a variety of services and activities for the public to enjoy. For online information on visitor services, accommodations and activities in these communities visit the following websites: www.visitrainier.com, www.mt-rainier.com,
www.staycrystal.com, www.destinationpackwood.com, www.minerallake.com.
Even though current conditions are exceptionally mild, park visitors are reminded that weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains during this time of the year. Be prepared for inclement weather or possible ice and snow on park roads.
Effective November 1, all vehicles (including 4-wheel and all-wheel-drive) are required to carry tire chains that fit your vehicle, while in the park.
For additional information, check the Mount Rainier web page at www.nps.gov/mora or call 360-569-2211.
NPS PRESS RELEASE:
The fire in the Three Lakes area of the park has been contained and is currently being monitored for any possible flare ups.
Record dry conditions are being experienced throughout the state and visitors are reminded to be extremely vigilant on preventing any source of ignition, as the fire danger continues to remain high.
Smoke and haze from ongoing wildfires outside the park is visible in some areas of the park.
At present, campfires are still being allowed in the fire pits in designated front country campgrounds. Visitors are asked to keep fires small and manageable; monitor the fire at all times; when leaving the fire pit, put fire out with copious amounts of water; make sure it is out and cold to the touch. Campers are responsible for their campfires even after they leave it.
The Laughingwater Creek Trail on the east side of the park has been reopened to the public.
The Narada Falls Trail will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, and then closed again on Monday when construction work resumes. This trail has been closed due to potential hazards from construction excavation work on the Stevens Canyon Road.
The Comet Falls Trail is open to within 300 yards of the falls. Debris and ice from a large winter/spring avalanche cover the last portion of the trail creating a safety risk of breaking through and falling or being trapped. Visitors can still get a good view of the falls from the closure point. Trail access via the Rampart Ridge trail is another option.
Visitors hiking the Wonderland Trail in the Reflection Lakes area should use extreme caution in the construction area and be very aware of construction traffic. Please follow the marked route through the construction site.
State Route 123 reopened to the public on Wednesday, September 19 following a two-day closure for culvert replacement work.
Stevens Canyon Road is closed to through traffic (for both vehicles and bicycles) from just east of the intersection with the Paradise Valley Road to the east end of the tunnel at Box Canyon for the remainder of the season. Visitors can access Backbone Ridge, Box Canyon and adjacent trailheads via the East Entrance near State Route 123 during the 2012 closure. Wonderland Trail hikers as well as day hikers are permitted to hike through the construction zone to access adjacent trails.
A lightning-caused fire which was ignited when a storm cell moved through the park on Saturday, September 8th, was reported and responded to on September 14th. The Three Lakes Fire is being managed under a full
suppression strategy due to limited firefighting resources that are currently in high demand for large fires, and to the fire’s close proximity to the historic Three Lakes patrol cabin and the Wenatchee National Forest
boundary. Suppression efforts include construction of fire line in steep terrain using Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics, and water drops. The fire is at 7.5 acres, 80% containment, and is expected to be fully controlled on
Tuesday. It is burning in the park's backcountry near the east park boundary within a mile of Three Lakes.
Fire activity is smoldering and creeping. The North Cascades Smokejumpers arrived Sunday morning to assist with ground operations.
The Laughingwater Creek Trail is closed from SR123 to the crest for visitor safety. All other park trails remain open.
Smoke in the park is from fires burning outside the park.
Twenty-five personnel are assigned to the incident including North Cascades Smokejumpers, Mount Rainier National Park firefighters, a helicopter and crew from Denali National Park, and additional support staff.
Mount Rainier National Park News Release.
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King announces a temporary closure on State Route (SR) 123 through Mount Rainier National Park beginning at 7 a.m., Monday, September 17, 2012.
The closure area will be from Cayuse Pass (intersection w/ SR 410) to just north of the Shriner Peak trailhead, approximately seven miles south of Cayuse Pass. Pending weather delays, it is estimated that the Monday
through Tuesday closure will end at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. If extension of this date is necessary, an updated press release will be issued.
Tucci and Sons, Inc. from Tacoma, WA, working under contract with Mount Rainier National Park, will replace the deeply bedded failed 36-inch culvert at milepost 10.7 (measured from the intersection of SR 123 and US
12). It was discovered in 2009 that concrete culvert sections had separated well beneath the road. Washington State Department of Transportation crews plugged the failed culvert invert, filled in the intake basin, and installed two smaller diameter shallow temporary culverts in 2010 until which time a permanent replacement could be made.
During the temporary closure, visitors can access SR 123 from the park’s southeast entrance via US 12 to reach the Shiner Peak trailhead. Due to the limited turnaround area at Shiner Peak trailhead, oversize vehicles are
encouraged to turnaround at the east entrance to Stevens Canyon Road. Visitors can also reach the Box Canyon Overlook and Picnic areas from the east via Stevens Canyon Road. However, due to construction work on the
west end of Stevens Canyon Road, visitors will not be able to access Paradise from the east via Stevens Canyon Road. Visitors wanting to access the west side of the park are encouraged to use the park’s Nisqually
Entrance (southwest corner) via SR 706.
SR 123 serves the east side of the park, extending for approximately 20 miles from the intersection of US 12 to the south to the intersection with SR 410 on the north at Cayuse Pass. SR 410 also serves the east side of the
park, extending from SR 167 near Sumner, Washington east 107 miles over the Cascade Range at Chinook Pass to the intersection with US 12, 4 miles west of Naches, Washington. SR 410 is one of five state highways that connect the Puget Sound area with eastern Washington. SR 410 is closed at the park boundary during the winter months, approximately early December to late May.
Lightning last night sparked a new fire in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on the west flank of Mount Adams. Ken Sandusky of the U.S. Forest Service says the Cascade Creek Fire is 200 to 300 acres in the area of the Cold Springs Campground and trail head. Six full crews are on route to fight the fire in very rugged terrain, with Sandusky adding it is too windy for jumpers to go in. Aerial retardant is on order. Sandusky says all roads in the area are being closed, and their main objective right now is to get recreationalists out of Cold Springs Campground and climbers off of Mount Adams. The fire is moving east, and the main threat is to Cold Springs Campground. Sandusky said the fire is very visible from the roadway in the Trout Lake area.
Mount Rainier National Park officials advise that the Laughingwater Creek Trail has been temporarily closed to the public from the trailhead at Highway 123 to the ranger cabin at Three Lakes due to potential wildlife hazards. The closure will last until September 19 or until further notice.
On September 5, a pack animal succumbed to natural causes while on the trail. While the carcass has been moved off the trail, it may attract large predators such as bears or mountain lions, which may create hazardous conditions for hikers in the area. Rangers will monitor the trail over the next week and a half to determine when the trail can be safely reopened.
A section of Narada Falls Trail will be closed from September 6 through September 21, 2012 (Monday through Saturday) due to rock fall hazard from Stevens Canyon Road construction. The trail will be closed from the bridge where it intersects the Longmire-Paradise Road to its intersection with the Wonderland Trail, and includes the short trail spur from the Narada Falls restroom down to the Falls viewpoint. During the closure, hikers will not be able to access the Narada Falls parking lot by hiking from Paradise down via the Lakes Trail. This closure may be extended depending on progress for the roadwork. This section of trail will be open to the public on Sundays (Sept. 9 and Sept. 16), as construction work will not be occurring on those days.
Closure is due to rock fall hazard from major roadwork being conducted on Stevens Canyon Road above this section of trail. Heavy equipment will be removing and replacing large sections of the roadway just above the closed section of trail for approximately the next two weeks. Large rocks or other material may be dislodged during the construction work and could fall down onto the Narada Falls Trail creating a hazard to hikers. The roadwork is part of the Stevens Canyon Rehabilitation project. More information about this project is available at http://www.nps.gov/mora/parknews/stevens canyon-closure.htm.
Updated information on Stevens Canyon Rehabilitation project may be obtained by calling Mount Rainier National Park at 360-569-6713. Information on this project, as well as general park information, is also available on Mount Rainier National Park’s website www.nps.gov/mora. "You can connect to Mount Rainier National Park through our social media pages. Join the Mount Rainier community on Facebook, find out breaking news and road status updates through Mount Rainier's Twitter feed, explore the park and behind-the-scenes operations with our videos on YouTube, and share your own photos of Mount Rainier with other visitors in the Mount Rainier Flickr group."
Captured the Blue Moon over Mt. Rainier this morning. Zoom in for some amazing detail. Can you find the climbers?
Have a great weekend!
Access to State Route 123 via Stevens Canyon Road in Mount Rainier National Park Closed Due To Rehabilitation Efforts on September 4, 2012
Work is progressing well on the two-year Stevens Canyon Road rehabilitation project that involves resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation of the Stevens Canyon Road and other related facilities, including bridges, tunnels, culverts, guard walls, retaining walls, turnouts and the short Wonderland Trail section adjacent to Reflection Lake. The improvements are along two segments of the road, totaling 10.09 miles of the 19 mile road.
Up until September 4, visitors should anticipate 20-minute delays,
Monday – Friday, through each of two segments of roadwork on Stevens
Canyon Road. Bicyclists and motorcyclists are particularly encouraged
to travel cautiously through the construction zones where gravel
surfaces will periodically be encountered.
From September 4, 2012 until winter closure (typically in November),
Stevens Canyon Road will be closed to all through traffic (vehicles
and bicycles) from just east of the intersection with the Paradise
Valley Road to the east tunnel portal at Box Canyon (Segment #1 on
Visitors will be able to access Backbone Ridge, Box Canyon and adjacent
trailheads via the east entrance near State Route 123 during the 2012
closure period but should continue to anticipate 20-minute delays
Mondays – Fridays. (Segment #4 on attached map).
After closure hikers may access the Reflection Lakes area from the
Narada Falls parking area via short connector trail south to the
Wonderland Trail or north to connect to the Lakes Trail, Paradise,
and/or the lower end of the Paradise Valley Road. Hikers wanting to
access the Bench and Snow Lakes trail are encouraged to utilize the
Wonderland Trail, crossing the road east of Louise Lake and walk
along the south side of the roadway.
Stevens Canyon roadwork is scheduled to extend until mid September 2013,
with normal winter closures in 2012/2013, although no closures are
anticipated during the 2013 season.
Stevens Canyon Road connects the east and west side of the park, extending for 19 miles from SR 123 at the east end to intersection with the Nisqually to Paradise Road at the west end, two miles south of Paradise. During the
2012 closure period, visitors are encouraged to access the Paradise area from the southwest via the Nisqually Entrance at east end of SR 706. Visitors traveling from the east via SR 410, SR 123, and/or US 12 who wish
to visit the Paradise area are encouraged to seek alternate routes.
While the construction and associated closures and traffic delays present an inconvenience, the rehabilitation work will not only improve the driving surface of the roadway, but ensure its longevity.
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King and Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division officials announced last May that Phase 2 of the planned rehabilitation of 10 miles of Stevens Canyon Road was awarded to Tucci and Sons, Inc. of Tacoma, WA for $8,910,093.23 with a Notice to Proceed issued for project start on May 29, 2012 and a contract completion date of September 17, 2013.
Updated information on this project may be obtained by calling Mount Rainier National Park at 360-569-6713. Information on this project, as well as general park information, is also available on Mount Rainier National
Park’s website www.nps.gov/mora
The new place to find news for The Kalākora Gallery, Adam Angel Photography, and the Mt. Rainier Institute of Photography.
We are consolidating both the Mt. Rainier Institute of Photography and Adam Angel Photography blogs here. For archives older than this date please visit: