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Kiwi

Road conditions (Paradise entrance)

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I know it's not a climbing question, but how are the roads? Are they covered with snow? I want to go to MRNP this weekend for some hiking and I fear driving in the snow.

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If you live in the PNW and want to take trips to the mountains in winter, you should practice driving in the snow so you don't fear it.

They plow the road to Paradise, but you still could be driving on snowy/icy roads with "chains required" and you should always plan for this contingency when you head to the mountains.

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Chains were required on Sunday, and there was black ice and snow-ice on a lot of the road. Gate at Longmire opened ~9:45am.

 

Great skiing up there though!

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vegetablebelay said:

If you live in the PNW and want to take trips to the mountains in winter, you should practice driving in the snow so you don't fear it.

They plow the road to Paradise, but you still could be driving on snowy/icy roads with "chains required" and you should always plan for this contingency when you head to the mountains.

It's not that I dread snow driving, but I'm just afraid of other drivers. I was in an accident last year cuz the all the drivers around me all couldn't drive in the snow. madgo_ron.gif

 

Plus, my car is shit.

 

No worries, I have chains.

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dbb said:

Chains were required on Sunday, and there was black ice and snow-ice on a lot of the road. Gate at Longmire opened ~9:45am.

 

Great skiing up there though!

 

Is that a typical time for the opening for the gate? What time does is close at night? Can you park overnight in the Paradise parking lot in the winter? (never been up there in winter). I know nothing... cry.gif

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I think it closes to uphill traffic at 5pm. Don't know about downhill traffic.

 

There is overnight parking next to the round building.

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Dustin,

 

I was told by a park ranger that once "winter camping regulations are in effect" (their words), you are allowed to overnight camp pretty much anywhere (except not in buildings like that public restroom facility at Paradise). Winter camping regulations go into effect when there is 5 feet of snow cover at Paradise, and 2 feet of snow cover "elsewhere". Whatever that means, I imagine winter camping rules are in affect, by now. However, as I understand it, they do NOT allow you to sleep in your car, even in winter.

 

There is an overnight parking at Narada falls, in addition to the overnight parking areas at Paradise. I guess it would be a good idea to use the overnight parking area, so the rangers do not get distressed thinking you are a day-hiker gone missing.

 

Although the official rule is that you cannot sleep in your car, I kind of doubt anyone would catch you, this time of year (assuming you are discreet). But I'm not endorsing this practice, just speculating.

 

This is just the information I could glean from talking to some park rangers. For the straight scoop, call (or visit) the rangers at Longmire. I think a park ranger staffs the museum thingy at Longmire after 9:00 AM on weekends.

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Dustin-

 

The gate totally depends on the conditions, other factors, etc. 9:45 is pretty late.. I think it usually opens up around 8:30-9 in the morning.

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Gate opening time depends on how much plowing they have to do beforehand. Reasonable to get there early if the night was clear, but you still may have to wait until 9 or later before leaving Longmire.

I think that if you leave your car overnight at Paradise you're supposed to park it in the small lot by the flying-saucerlike visitor center, rather than the Paradise Inn-- probably so they can plow the whole parking lot at the start of the day.

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Gate opening depends of plowing and the ranger in charge that day. Some rangers will open the gate as soon as the plowing is finished others will wait till 9 evan if the plows are done at 8. Plan on doing a snow shoe out of Longmire as a back up.

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I got down later than planned last year and found a note wired to my drivers side door with the combination to the gate. I didn't need to use it, but I thought that it was nice of them to do that. bigdrink.gif

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Update:

I went to Rainier on Thursday to take some photos and the roads were essentially dry and sandy. It doesn't get tough until the Paradise/Longmire junction, which has compact snow, but not much to worry about.

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I got down later than planned last year and found a note wired to my drivers side door with the combination to the gate. I didn't need to use it, but I thought that it was nice of them to do that. bigdrink.gif

 

So what it is the combo?

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in winter, the gate at Longmire is closed at 4:30 to uphill traffic, and shut to downhill traffic at 6:00. go, it is spectacular up there right now!

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I went up to Paradise on Sunday after the big dump and the road didn't open until noon. I was following an suv which spun out in a turn and took a nose dive into the snowbank. rolleyes.gif

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either they changed it, or i got all mixed up cantfocus.gif. yesterday the gate was closed at 5:00 to uphill traffic, 6:30 to downhill. a note with the lock combo was attached to our door when my dad and i returned late to Paradise thumbs_up.gif

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