Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mount Rainier National Park Associates' May Work Party

Images from the May Work Party for the Mount Rainier National Park Associates can be seen here:  LINK TO FACEBOOK

Looking for a fun way to volunteer over the summer?  Contact John Titland, Volunteer Coordinator for MRNPA at for more information!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Road Construction Update, May 26-June 2

Click to enlarge to readable size

Find Your Park! (Washington's National Park Fund)

Washington's National Park Fund is a key partner for our national parks in Washington state!

Meadow Rover Training Info

Wow!  There are already 25 people signed up for the New Meadow Rover Training on June 11th.  Training for that day will begin at 12:00 p.m. at the Community Building in the Longmire Volunteer Campground.  We should be finished by 5:30. 

Returning Rovers will start with coffee, sign-in, and meeting fellow rovers at 9:00 a.m. also at the Community Building.  Plan to finish by 3:30 or so.  We have new speakers with lots of new information for you to use out on the trails.

Returning Rovers should bring their camp plate/bowl, spork, and cup and something to share for lunch - a tradition of long standing.  We will provide drinks.  New Rovers are also welcome to join us on Sunday if they choose as topics will vary from the Saturday sessions.

Please send me a quick e-mail if you are planning to attend so that I have sufficient supplies available.  If you need a campsite, send me that information also.  Please include whether you have a tent or RV and if an RV, how big it is. I look forward to seeing all of you again and to get ready for a great summer.

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spring Opening Updates

Mount Rainier National Park News Release
Release Date:  May 26, 2016
Contact:  Tracy Swartout, (360) 569-6502

Mount Rainier Superintendent Randy King advises that the park is making good progress on its annual spring opening process, and is pleased to announce many popular roads will open tomorrow, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Roads and facility updates:
Work will continue in 2016 on a multi-year road and utility construction project between Longmire and Paradise. This project involves rehabilitation of the driving surface for improved visitor safety and driving experience. Visitors should expect delays of up to 30 minutes Mondays through Fridays from Longmire to Paradise. No planned road work will occur on holidays/weekends, but unexpected situations may arise. Ricksecker Point Loop will be open to public access through Memorial Day weekend, after which it will close for the season to provide for road construction materials staging.

The following areas and facilities will open for the season on Friday, May 27:
·         Stevens Canyon Road
·         Longmire Wilderness Information Center
·         White River Wilderness Information Center
·         Box Canyon Picnic Area & Restrooms

Trail updates:
Snow has begun melting out along lower elevation trails, but still covers trails at higher elevations. As a result of winter storms, crews are finding that an exceptional number of trail bridges and footlogs have been washed away. Additionally, storms have blown down a high number of trees over trails park-wide, with many root ends blocking entire trail widths. In some cases, the trail tread has been extensively damaged and safe passage is difficult or impossible. In addition, many foot logs have washed out making river crossings challenging or impossible. Conditions will improve as crews work to restore trails and bridges, but it will require considerable time due to the extent of winter’s damage. Visitors are cautioned to use good judgement in determining whether their planned route is safe under existing conditions. Rocks, dirt and debris may move as you work your way around them. Always be prepared to turn back. Of note: Due to winter damage the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail footbridge is unsafe for passage. Repairs will be completed in the next few weeks.

Fee updates:
The phased increase of entrance fees in 2015 and 2016 was approved during 2015 based on public input and general support for the increases. Beginning Friday May 27, the park’s single entrance fee will rise from $20 to $25. This fee provides entry for all occupants in a single vehicle for seven consecutive days. Other park fees are noted in the table below. Walk-up, and motorcycle entrance fees will not change from 2015. Camping fees also remain unchanged ($20/night for single sites, and $60/night for group sites). Recreation fee revenue is an important component of Mount Rainier National Park funding; entrance fees support over $3 million in projects each year that have a direct benefit to the visitor experience. Planned projects include rehabilitation of infrastructure such as restrooms, trails, campsites, and accessibility. 

FEE TYPEDescriptionFee, effective May 27, 2016
Mount Rainier Single EntranceGrants unlimited entry for one non-commercial vehicle and all passengers for seven consecutive days.
Mount Rainier Annual PassGrants unlimited entry for one year to pass owner and passengers in the same car.
Walk-up/ bicycleGrants unlimited entry for seven consecutive days for a walk-up visitor or a single bicycle.
Motorcycle feeGrants unlimited entry for seven consecutive days for one motorcycle and passenger.

Park information, announcements, and the webcams are posted on
·         Get additional information and updates by joining the Mount Rainier community on
·         Find out breaking news and road status updates through Mount Rainier’s Twitter
·         Explore the park and behind-the-scenes operations with our videos on YouTube:
·         Share your own photos of Mount Rainier with other visitors in the Mount Rainier Flickr group:

About the National Park Service- More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Partners in Preservation 2016!

 Mount Rainier National Park is one of the featured parks in Partners in Preservation 2016! This program highlights historic preservation projects across the country. At Mount Rainier National Park, we are working to rehabilitate a historic cabin that will house search and rescue volunteers.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Find Your Park! (Michelle Obama)

What better way to Find Your Park than to join our team as a National Park Service volunteer?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Museum Collections Volunteers Needed

Wanted: two volunteers to assist with the installation/deinstallation of seasonal exhibits, aiding researchers, scanning researcher photograph requests, conducting inventories of the collection, and cataloging artifacts. This work is suitable for individuals who are flexible but like detail work.  All training in museum management and the National Park Service Cataloging program will be provided. For a full description of this volunteer opportunity and to submit an application, visit (link takes you to the opportunity listing). You may also contact Brooke Childrey, Park Curator, at 360-569-6784.

A small reimbursement may be available. Shared housing may be available if application is received before May 31, 2016.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Case of the Missing Armbands

Armbands to wear over warm coats and jackets were made over the winter.  However, it appears that our faithful snow rovers were so tired at the end of the day, they forgot to leave them in the Meadow Rover Office.  If you are one of those, you are forgiven as we truly appreciate your help, but would you please return them to the Meadow Rover Office or bring them to the training sessions on June 12.  

Thank you for all you do!

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Clean "Front Step"

SR 706 and the towns of Elbe and Ashford are often referred to as the "Gateway to Mount Rainier." Help us keep our "front step" clean by joining a small task force of dedicated litter pickers: the Mount Rainier Volunteers' Adopt-a-Highway crew!

Per an agreement with Washington State Dept. of Transportation, our team goes out with long-armed grabbers and heavy plastic bags three times each year to patrol a two-mile section of SR 706. This stretch of road encompasses the Park's Tahoma Woods administrative facilities as well as the only good view of Mount Rainier along the highway. We want it to look nice for our visitors, so please consider joining us for our next pick-up on June 26. For more information, contact Crow at

Friday, May 13, 2016

Find Your Park! (Sally Jewell)

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell found her park at Mount Rainier. Have you?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Museum Collections Reconciliation Project

Are you detail-oriented? Are you interested in Park history? This volunteer opportunity may be perfect for you!

Opportunity Featured Summary:  
Position includes assisting with the reconciliation project verifying the location of artifacts and corresponding paperwork, assisting with the installation/deinstallation of seasonal exhibits, aiding researchers, scanning researcher photograph requests, and cataloging artifacts.

Opportunity Description:  
Duties: Applicant will be working with the Mount Rainier National Park museum collections. Projects will include assisting with the reconciliation project which will involve verifying the location of every artifact in the collection and the corresponding paperwork. This task requires careful attention to detail even when the work is repetitive. Applicant will also be assisting with the installation/deinstallation of seasonal exhibits, aiding researchers, scanning researcher photograph requests, and cataloging artifacts. All training in museum management and the National Park Service Cataloging program will be provided.

Location: The park's curation facility at Park Headquarters near Ashford.

Time Commitment Required: two volunteers are needed for the period 6/14/16 to 9/30/16.

Skills and abilities required: Applicant must have excellent hand-printing abilities, be detail-focused, and flexible with changes in the daily work schedule. Position requires a NACI background check and issuance of a DOI Access Card.

Other Information: A small reimbursement may be available.

For more information: Contact Brooke Childrey, Park Curator, at 360-569-6784 or apply for this position on, reference keywords "Mount Rainier"

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

MRNPA's May Work Party

An excerpt from John Titland's email with more information about the upcoming work party at Mount Rainier National Park.  If you are interested in learning more about the Mount Rainier National Park Associates, please visit their website at and sign up today!
Here are the details of the Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer trails work party happening on May 21st.
We will meet at the Carbon River entrance to Mount Rainier between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.  Our cars will be parked inside the locked gate so drive right up to the gate and someone will open the gate and let you in.  Be ready to head out by 9:00 AM.  We are scheduled to be working on the Old Mine Trail.  Expect a hike of approximately a half mile to reach the work site.  Be sure to bring a warm jacket and good raingear.  
If you plan to attend, please reply to this email to indicate that you are coming and to tell me how many volunteers you are bringing with you.
There are safety equipment requirements for all MRNPA trail work volunteers. (These rules apply to all trail workers.)  Anyone using an aggressive tool - like a Pulaski, ax, shovel, etc. - or anyone working near them - is required to wear a hard hat and safety glasses.  People working with or near a less aggressive tools are not required (but will be encouraged) to wear a hard hat.  If you own a hard hat that you can wear, please bring it.  If you do not have a hard hat, we and the NPS have hard hats that we loan for the day.

Wearing safety glasses is encouraged at all times. Not all safety glasses are comfortable for everyone and some will not fit over eye glasses.  Because of cleanliness issues, some people don’t like wearing safety glasses that have been worn by other people.  For these reasons, and probably many others, please purchase (acquire, find, dig-up, whatever) a pair of personal safety glasses that you will wear.  The local hardware store is a good place to start shopping.  A serviceable pair or safety glasses will cost about $10.  And be advised that shatterproof eye glasses do not meet the requirement for safety glasses. Safety glasses all have side protection which eyeglasses do not.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Meadow Rovers Arise!

Coming this Sunday - May 15th, Maureen returns as coordinator of the Mt. Rainier Meadow Rovers.  I will be at Paradise organizing our Meadow Rover office so come on in and say hello.  Hoping to be outside on the mountain talking to visitors more than inside!

Plans are underway for our annual training days with New Rover training on June 11th and Returning Rovers on June 12th.  Both will be held in the Community Building at Longmire.  I am looking to change things up a bit with several exciting new speakers and topics and a look at the differences between roving at Sunrise as compared to Paradise.  More information will be forthcoming.

While we do not have meadows as yet, the vegetation is starting to appear along the edges of the parking lot and under the trees.  Volunteers are needed just around Paradise to keep sleds off the hillside and protect the emerging vegetation.

I am so looking forward to seeing all of you.

Maureen McLean
Coordinator MORA Meadow Rovers

A Sampling of Photos from MRNPA's First Service Project of 2016

A very special thanks to VIP Melissa Rogers for snapping these pictures while working with the Mount Rainier National Park Associates as they were starting to rebuild the Boundary Trail out of Carbon River.  Visit to sign up for their next volunteer day!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

A New Tool for Projecting Snow Melt Forecasts at Mount Rainier

Ian Breckheimer, a PhD Candidate at the University of Washington in Seattle has developed a system for making what he calls "quick and dirty" forecasts of when seasonal snowpack is probably going to melt in different parts of the park. All of the projections are statistical estimates based on historical SNOTEL data gathered from within the park. 

The link to the forecast site is here:

You can also read a bit more about the process and development here:

This will be updated every two weeks, so as we get closer to the meltout of some areas, especially the subalpine zone at Paradise, the information and forecasts will become more accurate.  Please keep in mind that this is still a tool that is being developed, so you may experience some glitches from time to time until everything is perfected.

Thanks for sharing, Ian!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 2016 Volunteer Newsletter

With the first Volunteer Newsletter of 2016 comes a new format!  Any feedback on the new design should be sent to Ian at his email.  Enjoy!

Each panel is an image, so click a page to enlarge it.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

MeadoWatch Trainings

What is MeadoWatch? To start with, it's a citizen science program in which volunteers collect phenological data for select species of wildflowers, information which helps scientists determine how ranges and seasons are being affected by climate change. It's also a wonderful excuse for volunteers to hike either of two beautiful trails in Mount Rainier National Park. Click on the photo to read more, or visit MeadoWatch website for even more information about the program. You may also sign up for their newsletter on the site.

This year, MeadoWatch offers three training sessions for new or returning volunteers:
June 1, Wednesday (6:30-8:30 PM); University of Washington, Seattle
June 11, Saturday (9:30-11:30 AM); Mt. Rainier National Park
June 25, Saturday (1:30-3:30 PM); University of Washington, Seattle

If you would like to attend any of these sessions, please RSVP to Janneke Hille Riis Lambers at

Russ Gibbs Featured by Pendleton Woolen Mills

Russ Gibbs, a volunteer out of Natural and Cultural Resources at Mount Rainier, was recently featured on Pendleton's Blog.  Congratulations, Russ! 
A link to the article can be found here: