Mount Rainier National Park announces expansion of public access

The Chronicle

Mount Rainier National Park reopened the Nisqually to Paradise Road in the park’s southwestern corner late in the day on Friday June 5th, Superintendent Chip Jenkins announced today. This expansion provides public vehicle access to the Longmire National Historic District and to Paradise.

Limited services will be available, including restrooms and trailheads throughout the corridor. In addition, expanded access is now available on the park’s east side near the White River and Ohanapecosh campgrounds for hiking and picnicking. Overnight use of campgrounds will begin at a later date.

Visitor Centers, hotel lodging and developed campgrounds will remain closed until it is safe to reopen them. Recreation on the Upper Mountain above 10,500’ elevation will open on June 19. Public access is expected to expand further during the summer based upon updated risk assessments and staffing availability.

“Throughout history, Americans have looked to their public lands for solace and recreation during times of crisis,” Jenkins said. “We’re pleased that we can now restore access to the popular Longmire and Paradise areas of Mount Rainier for people to be able to recreate responsibly.”

Open as of now:

On the park’s West Side

• The road from the park’s southwestern (Nisqually) Entrance near Ashford to Longmire and Paradise is open.

• All trailheads along the entrance road that are normally accessible this time of year is open.

• The Cougar Rock Picnic Area is open.

• The National Park Inn’s General Store in Longmire is open, for gifts and grab-and-go food service only (no lodging or dining access).

• The road at the park’s northwestern (Carbon River) entrance was damaged by winter storms. Visitors can park along the road outside the entrance and walk in. Use caution when passing road damage.

• Westside Road is available for hiking and bicycling.

• Stevens Canyon Road was damaged over the winter. Traffic safety mitigations are being installed for eventual public access. As a result:

• The road is open on its west end from Paradise to the Snow Lake trailhead parking area.

• The road is open on its east end from Highway 123 to the Grove of the Patriarchs Trailhead and restrooms.

On the park’s East Side

• Highways 123/410 across Cayuse Pass are open, as well as all trailheads along that route.

• The White River Road is open as far as the White River Campground, with the campground open for trailhead access and day use only.

• The Ohanapecosh Campground area is open for trailhead access and day use only.

• All park trails are open. (See the park’s website for trail conditions, as high elevation trails are still snow-covered.) Park with care in designated roadside parking areas.

• Overnight, backcountry (non-campground) camping is available and requires a permit. Permits must be obtained online, at least 48 hours in advance. To plan a backcountry trip or to get a backcountry permit online, please visit:

• Sunrise does not typically open until July, and is anticipated to open on schedule.