Mount Rainier National Park officials are advising patience and, in some cases, caution for hikers and bicyclists during the Stevens Canyon Road project.
Officials announced Thursday that part of Narada Falls Trail will be closed through Sept. 21 because of the risk of rocks and other debris falling onto it while old sections of the roadway are being removed and replaced. The closure will be in effect each day except the next two Sundays, when no work is scheduled, and it might be extended if necessary.
Officials said last week that work is progressing well on the two-year rehabilitation project that involves resurfacing and rehabilitation of the road and other related infrastructure. The latter includes bridges, tunnels, culverts, guard walls, retaining walls, turnouts and the short Wonderland Trail section adjacent to Reflection Lake.
The improvements are being made along two segments of the road, totaling 10 miles.
Park officials offered the following updates as they pertain to recreational park visitors:
• Until the road’s winter closure, typically in November, Stevens Canyon Road will be closed to all through traffic (including bicycles) from just east of the intersection with the Paradise Valley Road to the east tunnel portal at Box Canyon.
• Visitors will be able to access Backbone Ridge, Box Canyon and adjacent trailheads via the east entrance near State Route 123 during the 2012 closure period, but should continue to anticipate 20-minute delays on weekdays.
• After closure, hikers may access the Reflection Lakes area from the Narada Falls parking area via a short connector trail south to the Wonderland Trail or north to connect to the Lakes Trail, Paradise, and/or the lower end of the Paradise Valley Road. Hikers wanting to access the Bench and Snow Lakes trails are encouraged to usee the Wonderland Trail, crossing the road east of Louise Lake and walk ing along the south side of the roadway.
Stevens Canyon roadwork is scheduled to last until mid-September 2013.
The road connects the east and west sides of the park, extending for 19 miles from State Route 123 at the east end to the Nisqually to Paradise Road at the west end, two miles south of Paradise.