Mount Rainier National Park
The image of snow-capped Mount Rainier behind the skyscrapers of Seattle is one of Washington’s most recognized views. As nearly two million people visit the national park surrounding the mountain every year, access is a significant concern. For example, at the northwest entrance, the Carbon River Road has frequently been washed out leading to closures. Legislation passed in 2004 expanded the park’s boundary in this area to establish a new campground, create new trail access points, reduce maintenance costs, and minimize the impacts of frequent floods.
The expansion will also afford much needed habitat protection for habitat for endangered and threatened species such as the marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, and Chinook salmon.
Among the properties included within the newly expanded park boundary is the Carbon River Gateway, a multi-parcel piece. The property is easily accessible from the road and contains a small knoll commanding a beautiful view of the valley, making it ideal as an overlook and interpretative site. National Park Service protection of this key tract is a critical step towards attaining the recreational, management, and environmental goals of the boundary expansion. Funding appropriated through the Land and Water Conservation Fund is completing the protection of the Carbon River Gateway and park expansion area.