Sunrise, campgrounds opening at Mount Rainier

Sunrise at Mount Rainier National Park will be open earlier than expected this year. According to a press release, the road and day lodge at Sunrise will all open on Friday. The visitors center will open on July 3.

Warm weather has sped up the snowmelt, allowing staff to open the area. There is still 3-4 feet of snow in the area.

Sunrise is the highest point you can drive in the park. It offers so-close-you-could-almost-touch-it views of Rainier. As its name suggest, Sunrise is on the east side of the mountain and hence offers lovely sunrise views — if you can get up that early.

The Cougar Rock campground is set to open today. White River campground will open on Friday. Mowich Lake Road, which offers access to the Mowich camping area, the Wonderland Trail and many other hiking trails, will open on July 3. The park staff report that about 3 feet of snow remain in the area.

Other areas in the park that are already open include Ohanapecosh, Paradise, Longmire and Carbon River.

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