Build a Mount Rainier scenic loop and tourists will come, say community leaders


Community leaders in the foothills around Mount Rainier say they’d like to see a new scenic byway that would complete a loop around the mountain.

They suggest building a highway extension from Eatonville to Enumclaw to complete a route of scenic byways all the way around the peak.

Steve Pruitt of the Eatonville Chamber of Commerce says a West Rainier Byway would encourage more visitors to explore the area, boosting tourism.

Community leaders from Enumclaw, Buckley, Orting and Eatonville are involved. They’ve written to the state Department of Transportation, saying they’re interested in connecting to the Chinook Scenic Byway, the White Pass Scenic Byway and State Highway 7.

The group plans to meet with Washington state transportation officials.

Carrie Sunstrom, coordinator of the state Scenic Byways Program, says her office is exploring this route because of its potential to form a loop trip.