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Limited Cell Service at Paradise, but Don't Count on Coverage

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Jun 13, 2018 10:30 AM |
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After a lengthy comment period and environmental review, Mount Rainier National Park has deiced to move forward with the installation of limited-range cell service out of the Jackson Memorial Visitor Center in Paradise.

In May, Mount Rainier National Park announced the green light for two right-of-way permits allowing the installation of limited-range cellular equipment in the attic of Mount Rainier’s Jackson Memorial Visitor Center in Paradise. 

Paradise by Mary Denend.jpg
Ascending up the Skyline Trail from Paradise. Photo by Mary Denend.

After a lengthy comment period and the completion of an environmental review, the National Park issued right-of-way permits to both Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, with the potential for AT&T to follow suit. The permits will allow for the co-location of limited range wireless communications facilities in the park.

All new cellular equipment will be installed in the attic of the Jackson Memorial Visitor Center and no cell tower or other visible equipment will be constructed. The installation will provide year-round cellular service with both voice and data for employees and visitors within a limited range of the visitor center.

Always be prepared: Don't count on your phone

Although cell service will be available in a small area surrounding the visitor center, hikers to the national park shouldn't count on having cell service for their hike. That's true anytime your hike takes you to trails outside of town. Some tips to keep yourself safe:

  • Review seasonal hiking safety tips.
  • Check weather before you go.
  • Make a plan and file an itinerary before you head out, even for a day hike.
  • Pack the 10 essentials. Phones can make great cameras, extra flashlights, maps and compasses ... until the battery dies or it falls into a stream. Consider your phone a great backup resource for things like a reliable map.

And as with any tech on trail, keep the experience of other visitors and wildlife in mind. (Silence your ringers, use an earbud rather than speakers, etc.).