Monday, July 21, 2008

News and access

I have updated the Mt. Rainier NP news and access Web pages, at table of contents for the photography guide (see top section on news, access and monthly report).

To summarize, all the roads are now open including the road to Sunrise. There will be occasionally delays on highway 123 to Cayuse Pass as the State Department of Transportation fixes the highway from the landslides and this last winter high snowpack. In addition, the Carbon River road is still closed at the entrance, and is undergoing review where you can submit your comments on the various options.

The snowpack is still there, including some at Paradise and covering the Mowich Lake area where the road is cleared to the campground, but the campground, surrounding lakes and trials have snow. It will be another 2-3 weeks before the Mowich Lake area is snow free at the lake, but snow will persists in the trails above the lake, which includes Spray Park, where the wildflowers are usually out this time of year.

This limits the number of photo opportunities with wildflowers to the lower elevations for now and the next few weeks, but it means August looks good for all the areas this year. For July this also limits the number of snow-free trails and access the backcountry and all above 5-6,000 feet, including extensive lengths of the Wonderland trail, are still snowbound and may be for weeks to come, but things will improve into August.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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