March 25th Update: More Closures in Washington State – Plus Hiking Cautions

Starting today all state parks, wildlife areas, and water access sites are completely closed.

Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks are completely closed.

The National Forests have not announced specific trail closures, but all facilities such as trailhead bathrooms and visitor centers are closed.

State Route 542 to Mt. Baker is not being maintained so snow is accumulating on the road. Winter hikers are discouraged from making the attempt.

One other note. Even though most trails are technically still open, use common sense before heading out. Since it’s only March mountain hiking means snow. Which funnels most hikers into the already popular lower elevation hikes. This has led to intense crowding where it’s impossible to maintain distance. Even the popular snowshoe and Nordic skiing routes were crowded in the nice weather.

Additionally, six different hikers had to be rescued from the Mailbox Peak hike this last weekend. They were unprepared hikers who were caught above the snowline without proper gear or headlamps. Their carelessness put the search and rescue teams at risk and forced them to use up some of their limited PPE supplies.

Don’t put yourself or others at risk. Be smart and think twice before leaving home. Avoid crowded destinations and don’t visit remote areas (even when fully prepared) because one small accident strains resources and risks spreading the virus.

Comments or questions always welcome!

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