Visitors are allowed back to Mount Rainier after a brief closure due to winter weather. On Sunday, Jan. 13, the Nisqually entrance near Ashford was reopened and vehicles are allowed in Longmire, weather depending. Basic visitor services will also be available, including restrooms at Longmire and Kautz Creek. Staff will be at the park entrance gate to provide safety information as well.

Services, staff and access have been limited the past three weeks during the federal government shutdown, which has limited funding for the park.

"These additional services are being made possible during the shutdown through the recently granted authority to use retained recreation fees in support of park operations," a Mount Rainer National Park news release stated.

Park service officials used money from the Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement fund to bring back park staff, plow snowy roads and remove trash to restore access. Although visitors are being welcomed back, parts of the park are still limited due to the government shutdown. Most of the park will be accessible by foot, most building and facilities will remain closed. Entrance stations will be open but no fees can be collected. Rainier Guest Services will be able to reopen the National Park Inn, restaurant and gift shop in Longmire when the park gates open.

Visitors should note that snow play is only allowed in the designated area at Paradise, which is closed, the news release stated.

"In Longmire, any off-trail activity could cause significant damage to the park's vegetation," the news release stated. "All other areas in the park are off-limits to sledding to protect visitor safety and park resources. Visitors seeking snow play are encouraged to find locations outside of the park for this activity."

If road conditions become unsafe, roads and other areas in the park may close again. The Mount Rainier website and social media are not being maintained during the shutdown. For updates on the government shutdown, visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.