After weeks of wintry weather, the snow play area at Paradise on Mount Rainier is open, with the National Park Service reporting a light snow falling Monday morning.
According to the National Park Service, the snow play area is typically open from late December to mid March, but is only opened when snow levels are deep enough.
“Sufficient snowpack is required to protect the meadow vegetation before the snowplay area can be opened,” according to the park service.
Sledding and sliding are permitted, but attendees are asked to use soft sliding devices, including flexible sleds, inner tubes and saucers, rather than toboggans with metal runners.
All vehicles — four-wheel drive and otherwise — must carry chains in the National Park.
Other snow-related activities are also available at Paradise. Guided snowshoe walks take place on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through March on a first-come, first served basis.
The walks start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and meet behind the Jackson Visitor Center. Signups begin an hour in advance.
The walks take about two hours and cover 1.8 miles.
Snowmobiles are permitted for 6.5 miles along the Westside Road from its junction with the main park road as far as Round Pass. Snowmobiles are also permitted at the Cougar Rock Campground.