Sunday, August 21, 2016

High Visitation Expected at Mount Rainier National Park During Centennial Weekend

Mount Rainier National Park News Release

Release Date: August 19, 2016
Contact: Kelsea Holbrook, 360-569-6510

With an extended forecast for sunny, summer weather, Mount Rainier National Park officials advise park visitors to anticipate high traffic volumes and full parking areas in the park for the National Park Service Centennial Weekend, August 25-28. This summer visitors to Mount Rainier National Park have experienced hour long waits at park entrance stations during mid-day peak travel times, particularly on weekends. With the nice weather and park entrance fees waived, the park expects a very busy Centennial Weekend.

In recognition of the National Park Service’s anniversary date of August 25, 1916, throughout the National Park Service entrance fees will be waived for the extended weekend dates of August 25 through August 28.

For visitors to Mount Rainier National Park on Thursday, August 25, the park invites visitors to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial with some special activities around the park at Longmire, Ohanapecosh, Paradise and Sunrise between9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

At Longmire, the park is celebrating the history of the park. At the historic gas station you can visit with the park’s curator while viewing some of the rarely seen items from the park’s museum collection. Every hour, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and ending at 2:00 p.m., the park’s living history team will be presenting programs that feature stories about people from the park’s past. On the half hour, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 2:30 p.m., there will be walking tours of the Longmire Historic District led by the park’s historic architect and historic landscape architect.

At Ohanapecosh, the park is celebrating the next generation of park stewards with special Junior Ranger activities beginning every half hour from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. These programs will be followed by a National Park Service birthday celebration and Junior Ranger ceremony at the Ohanapecosh Amphitheater at 2:00 p.m. Kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge while learning about birds, bugs, animals, and more!

At Paradise, the park is celebrating the work that park rangers and park partners do to run the park. Visitors can roam the plaza outside the Jackson Visitor Center to learn about the work and the specialized equipment used to keep Mount Rainier National Park going. From tracking fox to rescuing climbers, there is no shortage of interesting work in national parks. Meet rangers between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., followed by a Centennial birthday celebration at 2:30 p.m. with speaker Randy King, Superintendent.

At Sunrise, the park is celebrating the science conducted in the park to learn about and protect park natural and cultural resources. Through activities, demonstrations and guided walks learn about the work archeologists, botanists, ecologists and geologists do in the park. Meet scientists between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., followed by a Centennial Birthday celebration in the Sunrise Picnic Area at 2:30 p.m. with speaker Tracy Swartout, Deputy Superintendent.

For those wishing to celebrate the anniversary with a service project, there will be volunteer projects at both Longmire and Paradise, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and lasting about four hours.  Meet at the Longmire Museum to volunteer for maintenance projects at the Longmire Stewardship Campground. To volunteer at Paradise, meet outside the Jackson Visitor Center at the staircase with the John Muir quote for a trail brushing project. Please bring water and snacks; tools and gloves will be provided.

Park information, announcements, and the Mount Rainier webcams are posted on the park’s official website,
About the National Park Service- More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 412 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

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