Friday, September 14, 2012

Some Notes

A few mid-month notes about Mt. Rainier NP. First, State Route (SR) 7, is still under repair near La Grande from a landslide earlier this summer (June). The highway is closed in the area of La Grande and traffic north from Tacoma and south from Elbe (and from Morton or Ashford) is being rerouted around the work.

Visitors travelling south from Tacoma will encounter the detour just north of the Experimental Forest on the Eatonville-La Grande road which routes traffic through Eatonville to highway 161, the Alder Cutoff Road which reconnects with SR 7 just east of Alder Lake State Park.

Visitors travelling north from Morton on highway 7 or from Ashford and Mt. Rainier NP on highway 706 will take the reverse route north to Eatonville where all travellers have several options to travel to Tacoma.

The first is the detour back to highway 7 on the Eatonville-La Grande Road and then north to Tacoma. The second is Washington Ave. N in Eatonville to Meridian Ave E where you have two options north,
on the Eatonville Cutoff Road E back to highway 7 and on to Tacoma or on Meridian Ave E (highway 161) back to Tacoma.

Both of these meet highway 512 to Puyallup or Interstate 5. Either way, the whole trip adds 20 minutes or so to the drive to and from Mt. Rainier NP. The state has indicated the highway won't be full repaired into November if not later in the fall or winter. Good luck there.

The second note is the Outdoor Fest in Ashford this weekend (Sept 15-16th). It's mostly focused on climbers since it's sponsored by climbing companies, but it's a good time for interested people for a day or two.

The third is the Sunrise area is closing later in the month. Currently only the day lodge is open, but it and the road will close for the season on or about October 1st, which also is the time the White River campground closes for the season. The White River road to the campground stays open awhile longer.

That's it for now. The October report will be later in the month.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Reports

The news, conditions, and prospects for September are now available for the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide. They were a little late due to the Labor Day holiday weekend, but they're good for the rest of the month.

 All said, once past the holiday weekend, it's the change from summer to fall operations as the NPS begins the reduction of hours and then the closure of facilities, followed with the closures of campgrounds, roads and entrances through September, into October for some locations and November for the rest.

September is probably the best month to go if you're not into wildflowers or similar photography, but just want really nice late summer and early fall landscapes and scenes with really nice weather. There are far fewer people and no bugs to pester you anywhere.

So, enjoy it while it lasts, real fall is coming followed shortly by winter. Cold and snow ain't far ahead.