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No entrance fees at national parks for holiday weekend

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Jan. 13, 2011 at 9:32 am |
January 13, 2011 9:32 am

Entrance fees will be waived at Mount Rainier and Olympic national park and all other national parks the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend.

Saturday through Monday are the first of 17 days this year when the National Park Service will not charge for entrance fees.

At Mount Rainier, the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise will be open during the weekend, as well as the snowplay area. Guided snowshoe walks will be conducted on all three days. The National Park Inn and General Store at Longmire will also be open offering food service, lodging, gifts, and snacks.

Visitors are reminded that tire chains must be carried in all vehicles, including those with four-wheel drive, when travelling in the park during winter months and may be required at any time, depending on road conditions.

For updated recorded park information, call 360-569-2211 or visit the park’s web page.

During the weekend, the Olympic National Park Visitor Center will screen a 30-minute video, “A New Time, A New Voice,” about the life and work of Rev. King. The program will be shown at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Additional viewings will be available upon request.

The visitor center is located at 3002 Mount Angeles Road in Port Angeles and is open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Also, most park roads and facilities are scheduled to be open this weekend, including Hurricane Ridge.

Hurricane Ridge Road is scheduled to open daily at 9 a.m., weather permitting. Road status and current conditions are available by calling the park’s recorded information line at 360-565-3131 or by visiting the park’s Current Conditions web page.

The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, snack bar and ski shop will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday through Monday. Rope tows operated by the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club are scheduled to be running Saturday through Monday.

Local visitors are encouraged to carpool if possible, as parking at Hurricane Ridge is limited to 200 vehicles. Minor delays are possible at the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station if the parking lot is full.

A Hurricane Ridge shuttle runs twice daily Wednesday through Sunday plus Monday holidays from two downtown Port Angeles locations. More information is available at the Olympic Peninsula Visitors’ Bureau web site. Interested riders are encouraged to call All Points Charters and Tours at 360-565-1139 to reserve seats.

The other fee free periods in 2011 will be April 16- 24 (National Park Week), June 21 (the first day of summer), Sept. 24 (National Public Lands Day), and Nov. 11-13 (Veteran’s Day Weekend).

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