This just in: Superintendent Randy King advises that Mount Rainier National Park has begun preparations for a significant weather event that is expected this weekend. Visitor access will be impacted and evacuations could become necessary. Current weather models are predicting 12″-15″ of rain to fall in the park over the next 48 hours, with snow at higher elevations. This event is expected to produce high precipitation and high winds throughout the park. All park rivers are expected to reach near flood stage, with potential for debris flows associated with glaciers. Power outages may also occur throughout the park and emergency services may be significantly delayed. Travel in the park is discouraged until the storm passes.
*As a result of the storm event, the following emergency closures are in effect (no driving, biking, or hiking) until further notice: Westside Road Sunrise and White River Campgroung Roads, closed at the junction with SR410 Carbon River Trail, entrance to Ipsut Creek Mowich Lake Road, beyond the Paul Peak vehicle barricade. Other park roads or areas may be closed as conditions warrant during or following the storm.
*Backcountry camping permits will not be issued through the weekend and camping in vehicles is not permitted in the park. Updates on road conditions and restrictions can be obtained by calling the park at 360-569-2211 for recorded information or subscribing to the park’s Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/MountRainierNPS. Information is also available through the park’s official website and Facebook at http://facebook.com/MountRainierNPS. Mount Rainier webcams can also be viewed at the main park website.
*Effective November 1, 2015, all vehicles (including 4WD) will again be required to carry tire chains when traveling the Nisqually Road to Paradise. Tire chains are available at the Summit House in Ashford and at the National Park Inn in Longmire. Road conditions can deteriorate quickly at any time and mandatory chain use may be required even for 4WD vehicles.
Any necessary changes to the operating hours of the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise and the Longmire Museum due to this weekend’s weather event will be updated as soon as possible (see information links below). The historic National Park Inn offers lodging, food, and gifts. For reservations or facility updates, call 360-569-2275 or visit www.mtrainierguestservices.com. Businesses in the gateway communities are also open throughout the fall and offer great get-away opportunities during the holiday period. Check these websites for contact information: www.visitrainier.com, www.mtrainierguestservices.com, www.minerallake.com, www.staycrystal.com, www.discoverlewiscounty.com, or www.destinationpackwood.com.