Deputy Superintendent Kevin Skerl today signed an emergency regulation closing the Grove of the Patriarchs, in the southeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park. The closure is effective immediately and until further notice.
The closure is due to recent flooding, which caused significant damage to the suspension bridge that provides the only safe access to the Grove, on an island surrounded by the swift, cold waters of the Ohanapecosh River. The area will remain closed until the bridge can be repaired or replaced. A repair timeline is unknown at this time.
This time of year, Highway 123 and Stevens Canyon Road, leading to the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead, are both closed for the winter, though they remain open to hiking and skiing. Only the Grove itself is affected by this closure.