Sunday, November 1, 2009
I've updated the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide for November for the news, access and conditions and the monthly prospects.
I've also updated the areas guides, see overview, for the southwest, northwest and Paradise areas. All of the roads, except highway 410 and 123, and the facilities in the Ohanopecosh and White River areas are closed for the season. Those guides will be ready by the spring of 2010.
November is the transistion month from fall to winter, from the early fall weather and conditions of October to the winter snow weather and conditions of December through March. It's the month which sees some of the most severe, dynamic and quickly changing weather, from beautiful late fall with sunny days to severe rainstorms and floods or sudden severe snow storms. It's the month you have to plan well, be prepared, bring emergency stuff and be flexible.
It's also the month only the southwest area is maintained through the winter. The eastside of the NP is closed and the highway maintained by the Washington Department of Transportation. The northwest side is split. The Carbon River area has been closed to vehicles at the NP entrance. The Mowich Lake area is closed to vehicle at the NP boundary, but is open to winter hikers.
The Paradise area is converted to winter recreation rules. If you love snow, as you already know, it's great, and if you just want to visit, find a nice day and you'll love it.