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

The Olympian - - News - BY CRAIG SAILOR [email protected]­new­stri­bune.com Craig Sailor: 253-597- 8541, @cr­sailor

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 of­flim­its 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.

TED S. WAR­REN AP

A vis­i­tor walks through the Na­tional Park Inn at Long­mire at Mount Rainier Na­tional Park on Dec. 22.

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