Friday, July 3, 2009

July News and Report

I've updated the news, conditions and information on Mt. Rainier NP for July 2009 with the news, the latest weather, road, facilities, etc. conditions and the monthly prospective. I apologize for the lateness if you had planned a trip and were only your way. I got lost working on the topographic map Web pages and took a break, and then forget the day, like late June.

It snuck up on me. Anyway, July is where everything really begins. The snow if gone below 4,000, except on north-facing slopes and in shaded areas, and melting between 4,000 and 6,000 feet (Paradise is at 5,400). This means all the low-to-mid elevation trails are clear except in patches. The problem for photographers is that all the alpine meadows are still under snow, some still with 3-5 feet of snow, such as the two most visited at Spray Park and Paradise.

All that should change during July as the meadows clear and bloom later in July and maybe into August. The other photo op are the many waterfalls, which almost all are clear and accessible with signifcant flows from the snowmelt in the basin above the waterfall. Besides the light you should consider the diurnal flow in the creeks to get your photos.

As for other news. The shuttle is in effect weekends and holidays between Ashford, east of the NP on highway 7, and Longmire and Paradise. Consider using it as parking is still limited at Paradise if you arrive in the afternoon. You can't just park anywhere there. Also, the Stevens Canyon road is closed in sections for repairs which may take to the Labor Day holiday. Plan your driving trip accordingly as this prevent the circumnavigation drive to Paradise from the east side highways.

That's it for July. Enjoy your visit, and you're always welcome to post comments or send me suggestions, questions or whatever else you think helps the photo guide.

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