After the government shutdown began last month, lower elevation locations within the park had remained accessible to visitors. Now, as low-elevation snow piles up, the park has closed its gates at its Nisqually entrance near Ashford.
Mount Rainier National Park officials closed the park Sunday afternoon at its low-elevation Nisqually entrance near the town of Ashford, as the effects of a federal government shutdown and a snowstorm set in, according to a park news release.
When the federal government shut down last month, the national park remained accessible to visitors between its Nisqually entrance and the Longmire area, but without public information, trash collection or road maintenance, according to its website. The park road to the Paradise area, which features a visitor center and snowy terrain where many people ski and snowshoe, was closed.
But snow has begun to pile up at low elevations, including the Nisqually entrance and Longmire areas, and “road travel is expected to deteriorate rapidly,” according to the news release.
Vehicles are no longer able to access the park. Traveling by foot on its roadways is not allowed either.
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“Due to the unavailability of park staff to provide essential public services and ensure continued road safety for visitors, this closure to public vehicles is expected to continue until further notice,” the news release says.