Monday, June 27, 2011

Conditions at Mount Rainier National Park

Black bear near White River CG.
I hiked up to Glacier Basin in Mount Rainier National Park on Saturday, and learned several things:

  • There is a LOT of snow up there yet, even in the White River campground.  Patchy snow begins on the Glacier Basin Trail just past the Emmons Moraine Trail junction (1 mile) and becomes continuous around 5,200' (with some long stretches of solid snow before then).
  • Climbers are still finishing direct on the Emmons Glacier.  No need to visit the Winthrop.
  • The Glacier Basin Trail has benefited from a lot of work since my last climb of the Emmons, in which we had to follow temporary flagging around/over/under fallen trees, through slide alder and brush, and often through the creek.  It is a Cadillac of a trail now - thanks MRNP staff!
  • Bears are out!  Numerous bears are present around the White River CG.  I photographed two along the Glacier Basin trail, somehow missed a brown yearling wandering around the closed campground, and spent nearly an hour photographing a large bear roadside near the White River Road junction.
The park has just announced that they will be opening Sunrise on July 1st, just in time for the holiday weekend.  However, they will be offering limited services as much is still buried up there.  The Sunrise Day Lodge and gift shop will be open.  The trails are covered in deep snow, so plan accordingly.

Paradise still has a large amount of snow as well - 14' as of 6/22.  Check out the webcam.

No opening dates have been announced yet for the Mowich Lake Road or Paradise Valley Road.  Did I mention that there is still a lot of snow up there?

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