Campers can’t make reservations at Mount Rainier National Park this year

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Mt. Rainier/File photo

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. — Hikers who want to camp in the wilderness at Mount Rainier National Park won’t be able to make reservations this year, after a storm damaged the park’s reservation system.

Park officials say wilderness permits will now be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, including for the popular Wonderland Trail.

The park received about 2,000 reservation requests by mail or fax since March 15, but none of those requests can be processed because of a software system failure. Each year, typically about 70 percent of backcountry campsites can be reserved in advance.

Campers, however, can still reserve campsites at Ohanapecosh and Cougar Rock campgrounds.

The park has been working with the University of Washington to test a new online reservation system, but that system won’t be launched until March 2017.