If you thought 2015 would be the year you would finally navigate the Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park, well, if you haven't already submitted an application, don't bother. Park officials say they've been deluged with applications for this summer and are no longer accepting permit applications.
Mount Rainier National Park
It’s easy to find Mount Rainier National Park from Seattle or Tacoma. Just point your vehicle toward the large, snow-cloaked mountain that stands against the eastern horizon and drive.
What would you think if the state of Washington cast its eyes on the volcanic furnace room of Mount Rainier National Park to help supply its energy? Or if Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho's lawmakers decided they should tap Yellowstone National Park's geothermal hot spot to generate power?
As we begin 2015, which marks the 99th year since the establishment of the National Park Service and National Park System, some troubling trends are more and more apparent. A short review of recent articles should give everyone who supports our parks reason to pause and think about the future.
One of the busiest weeks of winter has brought heavy snows to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, but staffing woes have closed the sledding and snow play areas at Paradise, frustrating locals and businesses in the areas close to the Nisqually Entrance in the park's southwestern corner.
A Washington man who got lost in a snowstorm at Mount Rainier National Park apparently died not far from safety at Paradise.
Flooding spawned by heavy rains forced the closure of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state on Tuesday, with high flows of Kautz Creek prompting the evacuation of park employees and guests at the National Park Inn at Longmire.
There are endless ways to experience our magnificent national parks. We are surrounded by stunning scenery, awash in light and color. Our ears capture the rush of waterfalls in spring and elk bugling in autumn. Scents of crisp air, pines, and wildflowers greet us. Stick your feet into a mountain stream and feel the bonechilling temperatures, or touch the softness of a Pussytoes flower. These types of activities allow us yet another type of experience.
With clear skies overhead, and no moon, the star gazing should be outstanding in the coming weeks at western national parks. Several of those parks -- Great Basin, Theodore Roosevelt and Mount Rainier national parks, and Oregon Caves National Monument -- are taking advantage of the night skies with star-gazing festivals.
Floods. Windstorms that down trees. Wildfires. Millions of feet. Hiking trails take a pounding from all these things. And while the paths are the responsibility of the National Park Service, the agency often lacks money and staff to tackle all but the most pressing needs. That’s where national park friends groups come into play with their financial resources and, at times, volunteers.