16 free days in '16 at Mount Rainier

The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and wants everyone to celebrate. All national parks, including Mount Rainier National Park, will waive entrance fees on 16 days in 2016.: " Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. " April 16-24, National Park Week. " Aug. 25-28, National Park Service's Birthday Weekend " Sept. 24, National Public Lands Day. " Nov. 11, Veterans Day. The Park Service centennial "celebrates the nation's incredible system of parks that have been established over the past 100 years, and contemplates the need to engage current and future generations in their stewardship,GÇ¥ said Randy King, the park superintendent at Mount Rainier. "Fee free days support these goals by encouraging people to visit, explore, enjoy, and ultimately care for their parks.GÇ¥ Whether you seek an exhilarating hike through the wilderness, or prefer relaxed strolls through a meadow of wildflowers, there are plenty of ways to enjoy some of the wide range of national park experiences that Mount Rainier has been providing since 1899, King advised. Centennial activities and events will be posted online to the park's calendar throughout 2016 at nps.gov/mora . Starting about mid-year, visiting Mount Rainier National Park will cost more. The current entrance fee is $20 per vehicle for a pass that can be used for seven days. The fee will be raised to $25 on May 27, as previously announced by the Park Service. The park's annual pass is twice the cost of a seven-day pass and provides an entire year of unlimited visits. Entrance and camping fees are used to maintain facilities and provide services that directly benefit visitors, and are a critical source of funding at Mount Rainier and other parks, officials said. The entrance waiver on fee-free days does not cover the costs of camping site fees, special-use permits, or climbing passes. Mount Rainier also offers annual park passes for $40. Other available passes also cover entrance fees at national parks and other federal recreational lands throughout the country. More information about passes is available at nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm. Last year, Mount Rainier National Park welcomed nearly 1.3 million recreation visitors. They spent approximately $45 million in local communities, helping support 595 jobs locally. The National Park Service and its 20,000 employees maintain America's 409 national parks.


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