Washington’s National Parks are once again open for business. “We are very pleased to have the park re-opened,” said Mary Kay Nelson of Visit Rainier, the local Destination Marketing Organization. “The silver lining, if there is one, is that we now have a greater appreciation for our National Parks.”
After a 16 day federal government shutdown, hundreds of the state’s parks, landmarks and historical sites have been re-opened.
- Gates were open Thursday morning, with the normal $15 per vehicle admission fee. Paradise and Stevens Canyon roads are open; roads to Sunrise and Mowich Lake have closed for the season.
- Longmire Information Center is open, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily.
- The Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise has switched to its winter schedule, meaning it will be open weekends only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- All campgrounds are closed for the season, as well as Paradise Inn. The National Park Inn, at Longmire, expects to be open again for dinner and lodging by Friday evening.
Olympic National Park:
- Staff were working to reopen facilities Thursday, including the popular visitor destinations of Hurricane Ridge and the Hoh rainforest. The park visitor center in Port Angeles reopened Thursday morning, with its normal 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily hours. Updates can be obtained online or phone 360-565-3130.
- The historic Lake Crescent Lodge, which lies within Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, was forced to close because of the federal shutdown of park access roads. Check the websitefor information on reopening.
- The popular oceanfront Kalaloch Lodge, on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula, had received special permission from the National Park Service to reopen last weekend since it adjoins a highway, U.S. 101, that had remained opened. Guests were not allowed to walk on the park beach in front of the lodge, however, while the park was closed. Now guests can once again walk the wild beach.
North Cascades National Park Complex:
The complex includes North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.
- All visitor centers are open again, normal hours, including the North Cascades Visitor Center in Newhalem, the Wilderness Information Center at Marblemount, the Sedro-Woolley headquarters and the Golden West Visitor Center in Stehekin. More information at 360-854-7200 or the website.
- All facilities at the remote community of Stehekin are open again, for limited seasonal hours, which means the restaurant and store are open 12:30-1:30 p.m. on “boat days,” when the Lady of the Lake boat arrives from Chelan, daily except Tuesdays and Thursdays (through October). The North Cascades Lodge at Stehekin, which had been closed because of its location on federal park land, is also reopened, on its winter schedule with seven rooms open, or the Lake House for larger groups (509-682-4494).
- North Cascades Environmental Learning Center on Diablo Lake has reopened. Its mountain school program will start up again on Monday. More information: 206-526-2599.