Shutdown cuts drivers off from Mount Rainier National Park
MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK — Public access for vehicles at Mount Rainier National Park is closed due to the partial government shutdown, effectively shutting off the park from visitors.
Officials closed the Nisqually entrance to the park Sunday afternoon near Ashford. Heavy snow and the shutting of the park’s restaurant, inn and other services led to the decision, park officials said.
“Due to the unavailability of park staff to provide essential public services and ensure continued road safety for visitors, this closure to public vehicles is expected to continue until further notice,” park officials said in a release.
The Longmire entrance has been closed since the shutdown went into effect more than two weeks ago.
While visitors could enter the park without a vehicle, it’s not recommended. People attempting to visit the park on foot should remember no public parking is available outside the park, and most land is privately owned. Any vehicles improperly parked will be towed.
There are no areas being maintained for public snow play inside the park.
A snowplow was spotted Monday morning near Paradise.
Officials told Q13 News they were maintaining a single lane for fuel delivery and service critical to water and wastewater systems.
Snow is piling up at higher elevations throughout the park. But officials said the park should be ready to open once the shutdown is lifted.