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Friday, August 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Visitors can no longer drive into Mount Rainier National Park as shutdown continues

The mountain peeks out for snowshoers above Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park on Feb. 7, 2010. Access to much of the park is closed today because of the partial shutdown of the federal government. (Peter Haley / News-Tribune)
The mountain peeks out for snowshoers above Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park on Feb. 7, 2010. Access to much of the park is closed today because of the partial shutdown of the federal government. (Peter Haley / News-Tribune)
By Stacia Glenn News-Tribune

TACOMA – Visitors are no longer allowed to enter Mount Rainier National Park through the main entrance until the government shutdown ends.

The park closed the Nisqually entrance near Ashford on Sunday after the forecast showed more snow on the way.

A winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service is in effect through Monday morning, warning of snow-covered roads and limited visibility.

With no staff working at Mount Rainier, park officials said they could no longer allow vehicles in for safety reasons.

“Due to the unavailability of park staff to provide essential public services and ensure continued road safety for visitors, this closure to public vehicles is expected to continue until further notice,” the park said in a news release.

Although hikers and skiers are still allowed inside Mount Rainier National Park, officials reminded visitors there is no public parking outside the Nisqually entrance and cars parked on private property or blocking the gates will be towed.

“Traveling by foot on park roads is prohibited and is extremely unsafe, as limited plowing activities must continue to provide emergency access,” officials said.

Also on Sunday, the National Park Inn, restaurant and gift shop closed.

The shutdown entered its third week Monday.

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