Deep Snow Delaying Opening of Sunrise Area at Mount Rainier National Park

Too much snow at Sunrise will delay the campground opening there until at least July 8. NPS photos.

Too much snow will keep the Sunrise area in Mount Rainier National Park closed through the Fourth of July weekend and until at least July 8, according to park officials. Also, the White River Campground won't open until July 1.

As the accompanying photos show, there really is a lot of snow still waiting to melt away at Sunrise.

According to a park news release, road crews, "using bulldozers and a rotary snow blower," have been working every daily to clear snow from the road leading to Sunrise. "Once access is available, additional park and Washington Conservation Corps crews will be brought into the area to shovel out buildings and activate the power and water systems," the release added.

Since July 1, 2010, a total of 907 inches of snow have fallen at Paradise. The record for the park is 1,122 of snowfall during the 1971-72 winter season. Cool and wet temperatures have persisted into June, delaying snow melt in the upper elevations and slowing snow removal operations that began in March. Washington State Department of Transportation road crews have faced similar deep snow conditions on Highway 410, delaying the opening of Chinook Pass on the east side of the park. WSDOT’s projected opening for Chinook Pass is June 23 at 10:00 a.m.

Persistent snow conditions will also delay the opening of the White River Campground until July 1. The road to the campground is open and accessible. Mowich Road opening operations will be delayed until snow removal at Paradise and Sunrise are completed. All other park roads and areas are open. Travelers are advised to check the park’s website prior to a visit to get updated information on road and trail conditions, services and activities. Mount Rainier National Park’s website is at: www.nps.gov/mora.

Comments

Holy cow. I've been living at the foot of Mt. Rainier for eighteen years and I've never seen photos of Sunrise that looked like that this late in the season. Looks like my annual wildflower pilgrimage had better be postponed till August.

The new Ice Age is being born.

All I can say is "WOW"! That's a lot of snow!