Inside our parks The road from Longmire to Paradise is again open seven days a week, as long as the weather permits.
Mount Rainier National Park officials this winter closed the road on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because of staff issues and cost-savings measures. The two-day closure ended Wednesday, said deputy superintendent Tracy Swartout.
The gate at Longmire will continue to close nightly through April 15.
In addition, park managers said the Paradise snow play area will close on March 31 and the guided snowshoe walks end for the season that day.
The status of other park roads is available at nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit.
STATE PARKS FREE DAY
Admission to the 117 Washington state parks will be free Saturday in recognition of State Parks’ 100th birthday, which was on March 19. The Discover Pass is not required to visit state parks on free days.
The remaining state park free days for 2013 are April 27-28, recognition of National Parks Week; June 1, National Trails Day; June 8-9, National Get Outdoors Day and Free Fishing weekend; Aug. 4, summer season free day; Sept. 28, National Public Lands Day and Nov. 9-11, Veteran’s Day weekend.
Crews have started dismantling the dock that came ashore on the Olympic Peninsula in December. The 65-foot-long dock washed out to sea during the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.
The Undersea Co. of Port Townsend, is working with Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Olympic National Park, as well as local partners, to dismantle the dock on site. The smaller sections will be airlifted by helicopters to an upland landing zone on private land, and then trucked off site for disposal.
While the salvage work is under way, the coastal area of Olympic National Park between Goodman Creek and Jefferson Cove is closed to all public entry. Regulations also prohibit aircraft from flying below 2,000 feet within one nautical mile of the coast or the offshore islands.
For more updates, go to marinedebris. wa.gov/incidents/forksdock.html.
NEW STATE PARK APP
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has launched the first State Parks smartphone app. The app was developed as part of the celebration of State Parks’ 100th anniversary.
The Pocket Ranger smartphone app is available for iPhone and Android devices. The app is a free interactive guide, giving users access to more than 100 state parks, historic sites and campgrounds with detailed information, amenities, facility maps and directions.