Weather keeps visitors from national parks

Poor weather led to a decrease in visitors during January at Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks.

The number of recreational visits to open the year at Mount Rainier was 21,157. While down 16.8 percent from the year before, January’s count is well ahead of the 2009 count, when there were just 14,765 visits. The 10-year average for January visits is 20,299. The best January in that time frame was 2003 with 31,549 visit, while in 2007 there were just 1,337 visits. That was when much of the park was closed following the massive November 2006 flood.

At Olympic, January’s count was 81,212 visits, down 14.9 percent from the 2010 count of 95,417. This year is the worst January in the past five years. The best January attendance in that time frame was in 2009 when there were 108,180 recreational visits.