Closure includes Sunrise and White River areas of Mount Rainier National Park, including a section of the iconic Wonderland Trail, along with a 99-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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If Mount Rainier National Park is in your weekend travel plans, you’re best advised to stay on the west side of the park. The Sunrise and White River areas of the park remain closed because of fire danger, park officials announced Friday.

Park managers closed the popular areas in the eastern half of the park on Tuesday because of the “unpredictable fire behavior” of the Norse Peak Fire, which is burning outside the east boundary of the park and has closed the Chinook Pass highway as well as a 99-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail between White Pass and Snoqualmie Pass. Popular trails inside the park, including a section of the iconic Wonderland Trail, are closed as well.

Clouds veil Mount Rainier in this Friday view from the closed Sunrise Visitor Center. (National Park Service webcam)
Clouds veil Mount Rainier in this Friday view from the closed Sunrise Visitor Center. (National Park Service webcam)

A burn ban remains in effect in the national park, including all fires in the Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh campgrounds.

That coincides with a ban on outdoor burning imposed statewide Wednesday by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. As of Friday, DNR ranked 36 of Washington’s 39 counties with a fire danger of  “very high to extreme” (including King, Pierce and Snohomish counties). Fire danger in Grant, Adams and Whitman counties in Eastern Washington was ranked as “high.”

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At Mount Rainier, the Sunrise Road is closed at the junction with state Highway 410 near the White River Entrance Station. Travelers can still drive the north-south route through the eastern portion of the park on Highway 410 to Cayuse Pass and state Highway 123 to US 12.

Other road closures due to the Norse Peak Fire include Highway 410 from Cayuse Pass east to the Bumping River Road, as well as Crystal Mountain Boulevard. A detour for Highway 410 traffic over Chinook Pass is available via Highway 123 and US 12 over White Pass.

In the national park, backcountry closures include all of the park trails and cross country zones on the park’s east side, including the area from Frozen Lake to Panhandle Gap, and all of the trails with trailheads along Highways 410 and 123 north of the Stevens Canyon Entrance.

Hikers in the park’s closed area will be contacted when possible, park officials said in an email. People who are planning on picking up hikers at trailheads within the closed area should contact the park at 360-569-6510.

Updates on the fire and additional road, trail and facility closures can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5509/.