Mt Rainier Updates and Conditions - August 17, 2011

posted Aug 17, 2011, 10:14 PM by Luke Hizer   [ updated Aug 17, 2011, 10:40 PM ]
Time to check the latest news and updates from Mt Rainier, as we wait for everything to melt out:
  • Still snow at Paradise; the Mount Rainier Climbing Blog has the details on this winter's record-setting snowfall. For the climbers, some routes are still in decent shape
  • Roads: portions of Stevens Canyon Rd will be closed this summer as a rehabilitation project gets underway. Details of the closure are here. There's some road work on 12 that might impact travel, but otherwise all roads are open and clear. Full road conditions are here.
  • Trail Conditions - General: the Park Service points out that "Mt. Rainier received a heavy amount of spring snow this year creating hazardous conditions in the backcountry. Subsequently we expect a very late melt-out this summer. Issues to consider are route-finding, creek and river crossings and trail damage. Good navigation skills are needed in these conditions. It is easy to get disoriented and/or lost. There are also steep, icy slopes in numerous locations around the park. Always check with Park Rangers for trail conditions before heading out into the backcountry.The current snowline is between 5,000 and 5,500 feet. The park experienced a very heavy snowfall this past winter (2010-2011) and melt-out is not expected until sometime in late August"
  • Trail Conditions - Carbon River Area: most trails at lower elevations are snow-free. Still plenty of snow at Spray Park and Seattle Park.
  • Trail Conditions - Longmire: Comet Falls Trail is snow-covered beyond the falls, Narada Falls Trail still has snow at points, Van Trump Park also under snow (Rampart Ridge Trail), most of the others in the area look clear.
  • Trail Conditions -  Ohanapecosh:  No recent updates.
  • Trail Conditions - Paradise: nearly all trails are snow-covered, 28 inches of snow as of August 15th.
  • Trail Conditions - White River: Burroughs Mountain Trail and Naches Peak Trail have significant snow, PCT is snow free north of Chinook Pass, no report to the south. 
  • Trail Conditions - Wonderland: a lot of the sections are mostly snow-free, the main snow areas seem to be around Indian Bar and Reflections Lakes.
  • Full trail and backcountry conditions are here.