Sunrise Recreation Area Now Open to Visitors at Mount Rainier National Park

A glacier-covered mountain glows pink and red during sunrise. The first rays of morning sun on Mount Rainier, as seen from Sunrise.

After a winter of hibernating, the Sunrise recreation area at Mount Rainier National Park opened to park visitors on Thursday, July 2.

And though summer is already more than two weeks old, visitors to the area should expect a cornucopia of weather and trail conditions.

“While it may be warm and sunny where visitors are traveling from, they should come prepared for snow-covered routes and icy trails at high-elevation locations like Paradise and Sunrise” said Ben Welch, chief of visitor and resource protection at Mount Rainier National Park.

The Sunrise area beckons to visitors from its 6,400-foot elevation, the altitude having prompted park staff to plow roads, clear winter rockfall and repair infrastructure to prepare for the short summer season.

Park staff advise visitors to prepare for winter conditions at both Paradise and Sunrise recreation areas. More than 5 feet of snow still obscures trails and may hide hazards such as snow-covered streams and snow moats which form along trees, rocks and logs.

To help ensure safe visits, visitors should adhere to the following:

• Be self sufficient while traveling in the backcountry as the park does not mark hazards, stabilize avalanche slopes or designate safe routes.

• Leave word with a friend or family member on where you’re going and when you expect to be home.

• Avoid crossing steep, snow-covered slopes or fast-flowing streams.

• Carry survival gear, including extra clothing and food.

While some park facilities remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, all restrooms are open, and the National Park Inn at Longmire offers a gift shop, grab-and-go food service and lodging.  

There are no food service options at Paradise; prepare to pack in food and properly dispose of all trash. Visitors are encouraged to bring face coverings and hand sanitizer, and to maintain a distance of six feet from other groups. For more information on planning a safe trip, access the  COVID-19 Visitor Guide for Healthy Access site. 

For updates on the park’s operational status visit @MountRainierNPS on Twitter (account not required). Check the park web cameras to view current conditions. To see photos and video of conditions at Paradise, visit the Mount Rainier National Park Flickr page. 

After a winter of hibernating, the Sunrise recreation area at Mount Rainier National Park opened to park visitors on Thursday, July 2.

And though summer is already more than two weeks old, visitors to the area should expect a cornucopia of weather and trail conditions.

“While it may be warm and sunny where visitors are traveling from, they should come prepared for snow-covered routes and icy trails at high-elevation locations like Paradise and Sunrise” said Ben Welch, chief of visitor and resource protection at Mount Rainier National Park.

The Sunrise area beckons to visitors from its 6,400-foot elevation, the altitude having prompted park staff to plow roads, clear winter rockfall and repair infrastructure to prepare for the short summer season.

Park staff advise visitors to prepare for winter conditions at both Paradise and Sunrise recreation areas. More than 5 feet of snow still obscures trails and may hide hazards such as snow-covered streams and snow moats which form along trees, rocks and logs.

To help ensure safe visits, visitors should adhere to the following:

• Be self sufficient while traveling in the backcountry as the park does not mark hazards, stabilize avalanche slopes or designate safe routes.

• Leave word with a friend or family member on where you’re going and when you expect to be home.

• Avoid crossing steep, snow-covered slopes or fast-flowing streams.

• Carry survival gear, including extra clothing and food.

While some park facilities remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, all restrooms are open, and the National Park Inn at Longmire offers a gift shop, grab-and-go food service and lodging.  

There are no food service options at Paradise; prepare to pack in food and properly dispose of all trash. Visitors are encouraged to bring face coverings and hand sanitizer, and to maintain a distance of six feet from other groups. For more information on planning a safe trip, access the  COVID-19 Visitor Guide for Healthy Access site. 

For updates on the park’s operational status visit @MountRainierNPS on Twitter (account not required). Check the park web cameras to view current conditions. To see photos and video of conditions at Paradise, visit the Mount Rainier National Park Flickr page. 

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