Monday, June 7, 2010

June Updates

I have updated the photo guide area guides with the latest seasonal information. It's still the same as the full guides for the southwest, northwest and Paradise areas are available and the guides for the northeast and southeast are still in preparation. I apologize for the delays with these two areas as life and other work intervened. The guide for each area takes 3-4 weeks to research and prepare, so finding blocks of time is hard with other projects and recent health issues.

The short news is that June is the transistion month from winter/spring to spring/summer as the snowmelt through June into mid-July opens the areas for hiking and photography. All the entrances are open except the White River is open to the White River campground, which open late June, and the Sunrise road and facilities opens early July, and the Mowich Lake Road, currently closed at the Paul Peak trailhead, opens early July. All the closed roads are open to hikers and backcountry permit for camping.

For the most part, June is generally cool and often rainy, so the words to always be prepared and flexible still applies to anyplace in the NP, and especially the mid-elevations, 4-5,000+ feet as the snowmelt progress and the weather changes. Otherwise, enjoy the NP and your visit.

Friday, June 4, 2010

June Reports

I have updated the photo guide for June for the news, access and conditions in Mt. Rainier NP, along with some updates for seasonal information for other pages. More updates for June are forthcoming within the next week on some of the topic Web pages about the seasonal conditions.

June is the month everything changes in the NP, both as the snowmelt continues through the month, slowly moving the snow-free elevation from the lower to the mid and upper elevations. The lower than normal snowpack was later peak snowpack and onset of snowmelt and is close to the normal time trend and should be completely snow-free in the 5-6,000 foot elevation sometime in about the second week in July (my forecast).

June, from late May, is when the roads clear and the facilities open for the summer visitors season, from Memorial Day through the Labor Day weekend. By mid-late June everything will be open except the Sunrise Road and visitors center and the Mowich Lake road, currently shut at the Paul Peak trailhead. These open in early July before the July 4th holiday weekend.

That aside, even with the best opportunities for hiking and photography, it's generally still cool and frequently rainy, so as I always mention, be prepared for all weather conditions and be flexible with your plans if the weather turns bad. This is standard practice for experienced hikers and backpackers, but this is important even with day hikes because you could be caught miles from the trailheads in a rainstorm.

That said, go and enjoy the NP.