Great news, Mount Rainier lovers!
The road to Paradise is now going to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until winter snows close it again in late 2016. For the foreseeable future, access to one of the prettiest high-alpine regions in America is no longer restricted. According to a tweet sent on the morning of April 18th, 2016, Mount Rainier National Park officials announced the 24 hour opening of the gate from Longmire to Paradise. Now, visitors and locals to the region can head up late at night for stargazing and even enjoy both sunrises and sunsets from one of the most iconic mountains in America.
While Paradise is now open 24 hours a day, unless the weather changes it, chains are still required to be carried for all vehicles until May 1st of this year:
While the tweet has little fanfare, the announcement of the road openings has members of the outdoor community already stoked for possible adventures. Snow is still limiting access to the majority of the park, but each month promises to have more stunning destinations open. A few notable areas that will be opening in a month or less are the Westside Road to Dry Creek, scheduled to open at the end of April. The other is Ricksecker Point Road, which gives amazing views of the Nisqually Glacier and beyond and should open by mid-May.
Soon, you’ll be able to take your family out and enjoy one of these nine incredible roadside hikes around Mount Rainier, or even just drive into the lesser known areas and explore trails with fewer crowds. Until we have areas like Mowich Lake and Sunrise open, your hiking options will be a little limited. That doesn’t mean you should avoid the park though!
Head out after work, take in a sunset and enjoy the wilderness. Also, keep tabs on when other roads open by checking out the Mount Rainier National Park road information website: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/road-status.htm.