UPDATE 7/1/16: definitely not enough snow at Sunrise parking lot to skin from there. See 2nd photo below- taken from the park’s webcam today. ORIGINAL POST: Sunrise Road in Mt. Rainier National Park is OPEN – one day earlier than the originally scheduled date. As of last week, rangers reported several feet of snow at Sunrise Day Lodge (which opens tomorrow). There is still snow at the parking lot/lodge at 6,400 ft elevation but we couldn’t confirm if it is sufficiently continuous to skin from there (we’re waiting for the web cams to go live). The below photo of Burroughs Mountains (as seen from Steamboat Prow) rising about the Sunrise parking lot shows the extent of snow coverage on June 19, 2016. If there’s enough snow, accessing the ski lines in this area is about as easy as it gets. Snow aside, this area serves up some of the best views of Mount Rainier and the Emmons glacier from its northeast location in the park. For those looking to camp nearby, the White River campground is already open and snow free.
Mowich Lake Road opens tomorrow. This road in the northwest, Carbon River side of the park leads to Mowich Lake (4929 ft elevation), the deepest lake in Mt. Rainier NP. The Mowich campground will also be open and is snow free. From there, the trail leads to to Spray Park (and beyond). The Carbon River Ranger Station reported that patchy snow begins at about 3 miles towards Spray Park. Spray Park and Seattle Park are about 90% snow covered and upper Spray Park is 100% snow. Below is a video from last year’s trip out to that zone.
Reminder that there’s no need to start too early as our sun doesn’t set until after 9pm now. Happy summer skiing and Live to ski another day!
Here’s the photo of Burroughs Mountain from June 19, 2016 as seen from Steamboat Prow