Monday, April 1, 2013

April Reports

The monthly reports on the news, access and conditions for Mt. Rainier NP for April are now on-line at the photo guide. The news for April is that spring is slowly sneaking into the NP and the NPS is starting the transition to spring.

But don't expect much for April as the snowpack is above normal and has persisted at lower elevations later than normal this spring with snow at Longmire. That said the NPS will end the nightly closures of the road between Longmire and Paradise April 15th.

Travellers should check the road advisories as snow will continue to add to the snowpack through April into early May so you will encounter cold temperatures and rain/snow storms at the mid-upper elevations. You should still carry chains as a precaution.

In other news the snowplay area ends March 31st but snow camping continues for awhile until the snowpack melts where the NP decides it's a danger for the underlying vegetation and meadows. This is important when travelling across open areas still covered with snow.

In other news the NPS is accepting reservations for the backcountry permits for the Wonderland Trail. They accept applications between March 15th and April 1st, after which all of the applications are put into a lottery system and allocated accordingly.

Otherwise, it's still winter and early spring in the lower elevations. Time to get out the gear and warm up the body for people like me who are spring to fall hikers and photographers. Sorry winter people.

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