SEATTLE - Several parks announced closures or restrictions this week due to overcrowding issues. Friday, officials announced several trails and day-use sites around Lake Cushman and the Staircase Entrance to Olympic National Park will close.
On Thursday, Pierce County announced it would limit the number of people at North Lake Tapps County Park due to complaints of overcrowding.
Due to limited options, parks are seeing an increase in visitors. King County Search and Rescue crews say they have been stretched thin.
Officials say they’re seeing overpacked parking lots and streets creating concerns for emergency crews’ ability to respond. There is also trash filling the trails.
Nuradin Saleban said he just got into hiking this year due to limited alternative options for recreation. He said he understands the need for closures but hopes people can act responsibly to prevent any future restrictions.
“They should limit it, instead of close,” he said. “Just completely closing is not helping the community,” he added.
National Park officials said the closures at Olympic National Park will last until the weather gets cooler.