A Return to Mt. Rainier National Park

After months of hoping for a small return to normalcy, we finally drove through the open gates of Mt. Rainier National Park. to see how she had fared during the recent closure.

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.

Support

Our mission is a labor of love, but it does come with overhead. If you’d like to support our efforts we’d certainly appreciate it. Currently, we’re actively participating in the following field research:

  • COASST Beached Bird Surveys
  • Wild and Scenic River Project

Thank you.

After months of hoping for a small return to normalcy, we finally drove through the open gates of Mt. Rainier National Park. to see how she had fared during the recent closure.

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Theresa is gazing at sunset while beachcombing. The clouds added a wonderful touch of drama to the scene. ...

Theresa is looking downstream at Murhat Falls. This waterfall is easy to drive to and an easy hike in the Olympic National Forest. ...

Skate Creek runs alongside Forest Road 52 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This was just one of the many photographic sites that can be accessed from the road. ...

Murhut Falls and its pool are nestled in the Olympic National Forest, not far from Dosewallips State Park. ...

Winter storm making landfall just south of Cape Flattery. This part of the Pacific Northwest can see some powerful storms. ...

An unnamed creek and a small waterfall that you can find along the Steam Donkey Loop trail, which starts within the Dosewallips State Park of Washington ...

Footsteps and a sunset over the Pacific Ocean. ...

Early morning sunshine filtered through the trees and reflected off the upper portion of Murhut waterfall ...

Theresa sitting under Murhut Falls, enjoying the beauty of the forest. ...

Found this small dam in the hills behind our camp on Hood Canal. At one time, it appears to have been used by a homestead to hold water during the summer months. #washingtonstateparks ...

A photographer takes a photo and becomes the subject himself. ...

“How We Survived a Slight Derailment on Tower Rock” was published on our website. You'll find a gallery of all photographs in the article towards the bottom of the page. I'd love to hear your thoughts or comments. You can find our URL in the bio. ...

Paradise

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.

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