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.

timber tracking

The Timber Tracking Project, was originally all set to go forward this spring, but we all know what happened instead; collecting was suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, permits have been cleared for this summer and we’ll be out sampling practicing the best kind of social distancing. Now it’s all about looking at topo maps and choosing collection zones. Follow our updates from the field on twitter.

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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Good day of exploring. Found some waterfalls and an incredible historic fire watch tower. More photos to follow. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #explore #hike #cascadiaexplored #pnwonderland #northcascadesnationalpark #pnwcollective #seattle #pnwdiscovered #diablolake #hiking #optoutside #nature #naturephotography #cascades #travel #washington #adventure #pacificnorthwest #washingtonexplored #washingtonstate #explorewashington #thatpnwlife #upperleftusa #pnw #pnwadventures #mountains #pnwlife #nationalpark #wanderlust #backpacking ...

Basecamp for the next 4 days while we explore the North Cascades. We’re just outside Oso Washington. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #karanjohar #pnwisbest #pnwlife #nature #tiktok #columbiarivergorge #cascadiaexplored #funnyshit #optoutside #naturephotography #bendoregon #hiking #pnwonderland #oregon #outdoors #explore #thatpnwlife #pnwwonderland #washington #mountains #pacnw #pacificnw #upperleftusa #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #oregoncoast #centraloregon #seattle #camping #pnwcollective ...

South Puget Sound on a summers day. Headed to Anderson Island with our Rad bikes today. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #karanjohar #pnwisbest #pnwlife #nature #tiktok #columbiarivergorge #cascadiaexplored #funnyshit #optoutside #naturephotography #bendoregon #hiking #pnwonderland #oregon #outdoors #explore #thatpnwlife #pnwwonderland #washington #mountains #pacnw #pacificnw #upperleftusa #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #oregoncoast #centraloregon #andersonisland #camping #pnwcollective ...

Looking forward to heading out to the north cascade mountain range soon. I've only once made a trip into that area and I don't have much experience up there. If anyone has any 'must-see' suggestions would love to hear them. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler #northcascades ...

With everything turned upside down it’s nice to have a beach to relax on and let the waves carry your worries away. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #karanjohar #pnwisbest #pnwlife #nature #tiktok #columbiarivergorge #cascadiaexplored #funnyshit #optoutside #naturephotography #bendoregon #hiking #pnwonderland #oregon #outdoors #explore #thatpnwlife #pnwwonderland #washington #mountains #pacnw #pacificnw #upperleftusa #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #oregoncoast #centraloregon #seattle #camping #pnwcollective ...

Felt good to be out in the field doing our #COASST beached bird survey again. We couldn’t have asked for a better day to resume our fieldwork. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #findyourpark #purewyoming #sunset_madness #sunsets #sky #northcascades #sunset_ig #sunriseporn #sunsethunter #sunset_stream #landscape #rockymountains #ig #sky_captures #landscapephotography #dontgochasingwaterfalls #peakbagging #pnw #sunrises #wanderwashington #sunrise #mtrainier #ig_sunset #sunset_vision #sunrise_pics #olympicnationalpark #oregonstateparks #explorewashington #nature ...

Theresa making her way out to Ketron Island. It has been a while since we pulled the kayaks out but this seemed the best way to social distance.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler #WildOlympics #wastateparks ...

Finally got the kayaks down, cleaned up and out on the water today. Here’s an old State Ferry someone bought and towed to Ketron Island. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #karanjohar #pnwisbest #pnwlife #nature #tiktok #columbiarivergorge #cascadiaexplored #funnyshit #optoutside #naturephotography #bendoregon #hiking #pnwonderland #oregon #outdoors #explore #thatpnwlife #pnwwonderland #washington #mountains #pacnw #pacificnw #upperleftusa #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #oregoncoast #centraloregon #seattle #camping #pnwcollective ...

The historic High Rock tower with Mt. Rainier in the background. It's a bit of a climb but well worth the effort. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler ...

Looking across Alder Lake from the trail leading through Elbe Hills State Forest. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #pdx #thatpnwlife #pnwcollective #explore #pnw #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #nature #bestoforegon #oregonexplored #seattle #photography #pacificnorthwest #optoutside #oregon #travel #hiking #portland #neverstopexploring #upperleftusa #wildernessculture #naturephotography #washingtonstate #pnwonderland #washington #adventure #pnwlife #wanderlust #getoutside #northwestisbest ...

The view from Paradise Inn at Mt. Rainier National Park. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #findyourpark #purewyoming #sunset_madness #sunsets #sky #northcascades #sunset_ig #sunriseporn #sunsethunter #sunset_stream #landscape #rockymountains #ig #sky_captures #landscapephotography #dontgochasingwaterfalls #peakbagging #pnw #sunrises #wanderwashington #sunrise #mtrainier #ig_sunset #sunset_vision #sunrise_pics #olympicnationalpark #oregonstateparks #explorewashington #nature #sunset ...

Here’s a close up of this wonderful step waterfall we found just outside of Mt. Rainier National Park over the weekend. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #karanjohar #pnwisbest #pnwlife #nature #tiktok #columbiarivergorge #cascadiaexplored #funnyshit #optoutside #naturephotography #bendoregon #hiking #pnwonderland #oregon #outdoors #explore #thatpnwlife #pnwwonderland #washington #mountains #pacnw #pacificnw #upperleftusa #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #oregoncoast #centraloregon #seattle #camping #pnwcollective ...

Found this beautiful creek on a logging road just outside of Mt. Rainier National Park yesterday. Heading back to do a bit more exploring today. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #karanjohar #pnwisbest #pnwlife #nature #tiktok #columbiarivergorge #cascadiaexplored #funnyshit #optoutside #naturephotography #bendoregon #hiking #pnwonderland #oregon #outdoors #explore #thatpnwlife #pnwwonderland #washington #mountains #pacnw #pacificnw #upperleftusa #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #oregoncoast #centraloregon #seattle #camping #pnwcollective ...

Sunrise over Mt. Rainier seen from Blake Island. We’ll be heading to the park this weekend to see how things are faring with its recent closure. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ #findyourpark #purewyoming #sunset_madness #sunsets #sky #northcascades #sunset_ig #sunriseporn #sunsethunter #sunset_stream #landscape #rockymountains #ig #sky_captures #landscapephotography #dontgochasingwaterfalls #peakbagging #pnw #sunrises #wanderwashington #sunrise #mtrainier #ig_sunset #sunset_vision #sunrise_pics #olympicnationalpark #oregonstateparks #explorewashington #nature #sunset ...

Theresa taking a moment to enjoy the sunset over Deception Pass.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24travele ...

Rocky Brook Falls just off Hwy 101 north of Hoodsport. Just one of the many waterfalls you'll find scattered around the Olympic Peninsula. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler #WildOlympics #wastateparks ...

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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