Special to the Mountain News –
The National Park Service has released the following announcement:
Get a head start on your summer fun with free admission to Mount Rainier National Park this Saturday, June 9. In celebration of National Get Outdoors Day, all 397 national parks, including Mount Rainier National Park will waive entrance fees.
“Outdoor physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and Mount Rainier is a great place to get out and enjoy snow-free areas such as the Trail of the Shadows at Longmire or the Carbon River and Ohanapecosh areas” stated Park Superintendent Randy King.
Park roads currently open include Nisqually Entrance to Paradise, Westside Road, Stevens Canyon, State Routes 123 and 410 and the White River Road to the White River Campground.
Park road crews are in the process of removing the winter snowpack from the Sunrise Road in anticipation of having the road open to the public by June 22 (conditions permitting). Sunrise Visitor Center and Sunrise Lodge Snack Bar & Gift Shop are scheduled to open for the season June 29.
The free public shuttle between Longmire and Paradise will begin operation on June 22 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and from Ashford (Saturday, Sunday only).
National Get Outdoors Day, now in its fifth year, encourages Americans, especially youth, to participate in outdoor activities while enjoying the beauty of public lands such as national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. Nationwide, hundreds of organizations and businesses will partner with Federal, state, and local agencies to provide fun and healthy events at sites throughout the country.
President Barack Obama has proclaimed the month of June as Great Outdoors Month and encourages all Americans to share in the natural splendor of which we are all proud inheritors.
At Mount Rainier visitors are invited to join a volunteer project:
(1) a campground opening project for all ages at Longmire at 9:30 a.m. (for details, see http://tinyurl.com/cnktf74); or
(2) a trail maintenance project on the Comet Falls Trails with the Washington Trails Association (http://vols.wta.org/web/web.pl?sm+19541+WP).
Or, go for a hike on one of our many lower elevation trails, complete a Jr. Ranger booklet at one of our visitor centers, or play in more than 10 feet of snow that still blankets the subalpine meadows at Paradise (www.nps.gov/mora)!
Mount Rainier National Park will waive its $15 entrance fee on four more days in 2012 – September 29 (National Public Lands Day) and November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend).
If you are planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, you might consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands –more than 2,000 in all.
“This America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass” is offered free to all active duty military members and their dependents. Information on these and other pass options is available online. Mount Rainier National Park also offers an annual pass for the park for $30.
“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 you own photos of Mount Rainier with other visitors in the Mount Rainier Flickr group.”
Experience Your America! The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.