Mt. Rainier National Park During 2020
Everything has been turned upside down this year and, honestly, I’m at a loss on just how to proceed but we can see Mt. Rainier from our backyard and that seemed a good place to start. Here in Washington our Governor has opened our State Parks to camping. And just recently our National Parks have opened including Mt. Rainier National Park. But, it just doesn’t seem the same.
Before our parks opened we took advantage of Hipcamp to find private property to camp on. One of our favorite properties is Wilderness Path, which is located just outside the Nisqually entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. In just the last few months, we’ve camped there multiple times, always wondering up to the park gate just on the outside chance that it would be open.
Finally the day came, and it was great to be able to head into the park and see what was new since its closure. Of course nature is oblivious to our current crisis. If anything it’s had a bit of a break from our onslaught. Skies are clearer, road kill is down.
It was soon apparent that the park was going to be just the same whether we were visiting or not. I doubt much has changed since it’s opening in 1899 really.
But some things have changed in regards to the services being provided by the park and it’s staff. One of the most apparent is the closure of the Visitors Center at Paradise Inn. Rangers are available outside the center to answer questions etc. The Inn is currently closed (but it seems the Longmire Inn is open).
A few of the campsites within the park are open but when we drove through one to check on conditions it seemed many individual sites were closed due to hazard trees. Backcountry trails are open.
This whole situation is dynamic and subject to change so it’s best to check on the parks website if you plan on a visit. You can find the latest information here.
For those who would rather stay safely at home until this crisis is over the park has created a virtual tour which you can experience on their Mount Rainier Virtual Tour page.