Road to Rainier Scenic Byway
Photo Credit: Road to Rainier
– Editor’s note:
Interesting the Nisqually Land Trust which helped spearhead the planning of National Scenic Byway status, also has Yelm’s Mayor JW Foster on their Board, yet Yelm is not included in this project. Hwy 702 begins outside Yelm and carries I-5 traffic from the south through our town to Hwy 7, which intersects with the Road to Rainier Scenic Byway. Why was Yelm not a participant? After all, Yelm is the historical Gateway to Mt. Rainier, as the trains formerly stopped here, where passengers disembarked for their journey to the mountain.
– “Scenic Status Sought for Road to Rainier”
“DESIGNATION: Lewis, Pierce Communities Work to Promote Sights Along Rainier Route”
“Visitors to Mount Rainier could one day drive to the mountain along a National Scenic Byway, a designation that the small communities west of the mountain believe will help them capitalize on their location along the most popular route into the national park.”
“Eatonville is among four communities that sit along the proposed Road to Rainier Scenic Byway route, including Mineral in Lewis County. Elbe and Ashford round out the drive, which follows state Route 706 and 7 from their intersection with state Route 702. The 706 route runs to the park entrance, while 7 goes as far as Mineral, and includes a county road spur into the community.”
“‘The plan is your design for the scenic byway. The next step is implementation of the scenic byway,’ said Joe Kane, executive director of the Nisqually Land Trust, which helped spearhead the planning. ‘Funding to actually implement the plan would come through the Federal Highway Administration. That’s the next stage. That requires another whole granting process.’…’People on the Road to Rainier will come up off the I-5 corridor,’ Kane said. ‘There’s really nothing out there to tell them what they’re driving through and what sort of things are available to do. There’s no central organizing spot for that information. … A scenic byway puts it all in one place and then supports it with signage,'” by Alex Brown, The Chronicle (June 28), in The Olympian (July 5).