Winter has arrived at Paradise with 47" of new powder this week. The road to Paradise will be closed for the weekend due to extreme temperatures, wind and avalanche dangers. The climatologist is still predicting a mild winter. The last 2 years we had a quick Spring melt off and early flowers. I expect the same for this year and how climate change is accelerating in the park. Lowland plants, like horsetails have taken hold in several places above 6000 feet on the Paradise side and are out of control. The Paradise Glacier is shrinking at an alarming rate too. The Cascade Butterfly teams documented 37 species and 3874 butterflies in our plot studies this year. The Mazama Ridge trail spike in August with over 400 butterflies counted at the end of August. Most of the flowers at Sunrise and Spray Park were already gone by then due to the drought conditions we had in the Spring.
This year the Park is celebrating its 125th Anniversary on March 2nd. Should be plenty of new visitor programs during the summer to celebrate this event. Note road construction continues in Steven's Canyon and possibly Frying Pan Creek on the Sunrise side.