Due to winter weather hazards and the ongoing shutdown of the federal government, private vehicles have been restricted from Mount Rainier Park beyond the Nisqually entrance.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for lower elevations in Mount Rainier National Park beginning at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, according to a Mount Rainier news release. The advisory remained in effect through 10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6.

“Significant snow accumulations begun in the park, including the Longmire and Nisqually Entrance areas,” the news release stated. “Road travel is expected to deteriorate rapidly. In addition, Rainier Guest Services, the park’s concessioner that operates the National Park Inn, restaurant and gift shop, will close Sunday mid-day. As a result, there will be no public services including food, restrooms or snow plowing sufficient for safe public travel anywhere in the park beginning late Sunday.”

Mount Rainier National Park prohibited all public vehicle access into the park via the Nisqually entrance near Ashford on Sunday, Jan. 6. 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.

People attempting to visit the park on foot are reminded that there is no publicly available parking outside the park gates and no areas are being maintained for safe public snow play inside the park.

“Most property surrounding the gates at the Nisqually entrance is privately-owned and any vehicles improperly parked on private lands or blocking park gates may be towed,” the news release stated. “Traveling by foot on park roads is prohibited and is extremely unsafe, as limited plowing activities must continue to provide emergency access.”