Hiker Headlines: Mount Rainier Openings and Good News for Two State Parks
It's May 23. Chinook and Cayuse passes are now open to drivers. And the historic Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier has re-opened after renovation work. Washington is getting a brand new state park and Beacon Rock State Park wants to hear from you. Here’s some hiker news that you may have missed while out on trail this week.
It's May 23. Chinook and Cayuse passes are now open to drivers. And the historic Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier has re-opened after renovation work. Washington is getting a brand new state park and Beacon Rock State Park wants to hear from you.
Here’s some hiker news that you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Just in time: Chinook and Cayuse passes, on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park, are set to open today, just before the Memorial Day weekend. While many areas are still snow-covered at Mount Rainier, park crews have been working hard to get ready for visitors. The Carbon River, Longmire, Paradise and White River campground areas are all open, including the road from Packwood to the Grove of the Patriarchs.
Shiny old inn! Speaking of openings at Mount Rainer, the park celebrated the grand re-opening of the Paradise Inn last week. The inn has been renovated to bring aging systems up to date, as well as improve experiences for visitors. The work was important to protect the National Historic Landmark, and is a reminder that the park service faces a massive maintenance backlog due to chronic underfunding. At Mount Rainier alone, the backlog is more than $185 million. The next step on the project will be restoring the surrounding areas that were affected by construction. Crews collected native seeds and cultivated them in greenhouses. The area will be replanted later this year.
Shiny new park! For the first time in more than a decade, Washington is getting a new state park. Nisqually State Park is along the Nisqually River near Eatonville, Washington. The state already owns the land, but recently received $3 million in the state budget to begin work. The park is in an important area for the Nisqually Indian Tribe. The tribe and state parks are working together on management plans for the park. There are already some trails on the land, if you’d like to explore it yourself.
Help out Beacon Rock State Park: The public is invited to learn more about work to improve access and safety for drivers and pedestrians at Beacon Rock State Park on Highway 14. The park’s entrance was built in the 1930s and isn’t suited for today’s larger vehicles traveling at higher speeds. The first meeting is at 6 p.m. June 5 in Hegewald Center in Stevenson. A second meeting is planned for later summer. There is also an online survey to help the state gather information.