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Hiker Headlines: Mount Rainier Entry Goes Cashless, State Park Work, REI Inclusivity and Sustainability

Posted by tiffanyc at Mar 09, 2023 12:38 PM |

Mount Rainier National Park is going cashless for its fee collection, starting May 26. Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park is getting some improvements later this year. East Larch Mountain Road near the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon is closing for the rest of the year. The House passed a bill to support communities most at risk during wildfire season. And, REI updated their standards for their brand partners to be more inclusive and more sustainable.

It’s March 9. Mount Rainier National Park is going cashless for its fee collection, starting May 26. Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park is getting some improvements later this year. East Larch Mountain Road near the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon is closing for the rest of the year. The House passed a bill to support communities most at risk during wildfire season. And, REI updated their standards for their brand partners to be more inclusive and more sustainable. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

Mount Rainier from Naches Peak Loop trail. Photo by Stephanie Campbell.
Make sure to pack your credit/debit cards if you're heading to Mount Rainier this summer, as the entrances and campgrounds will no longer accept cash. Photo by Stephanie Campbell.

Mount Rainier fee collection change: Mount Rainier National Park will only accept electronic payments for entrance and campground fees beginning on May 26. Reservations and passes can still be purchased at recreation.gov. If visitors wish to pay with cash, they can pay for passes at local vendors before entering the park. Services within the park, such as restaurants and shops, will continue to accept cash. 

State park beach improvements: Lake Sammamish State Park’s Sunset Beach is getting some improvements later this year. The planned projects include replacing old structures and improving ADA access to park structures and features. The park will continue to stay open, but access to Sunset and Tibbetts Beach may be impacted during the the work. 

Road closure: East Larch Mountain Road on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge is closing between milepost 7 and 14 for construction work. This will affect access to Larch Mountain from the road, but the Larch Mountain Trail can still be accessed via the Historical Columbia River Highway along the gorge. The road is expected to reopen in the spring of 2024. 

Wildfire prevention bill forges on: The “Cascading Impacts of Wildfire” legislative bill has passed the House with bipartisan support and is moving on to the Senate floor. The bill aims to help communities most at risk during and after wildfires prepare, handle and control damage throughout the wildfire season. 

REI product standards: REI is aiming for for inclusive and sustainable practices and has announced a new set of product standards for its brand partners. Some of the changes to its standards include expectations for more inclusive sizing, including for different hair types, with price equity across options. It also requires that products do not contain PFAS, which are nonstick and resistant to staining, but do not break down on their own in the environment.


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