Mount Rainier National Park

Ashford, Washington

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1 Review
5 out of 5
Perhaps the most famous peak of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascade Range, Mount Rainier is a dormant, but not extinct, ice-clad volcanic mountain. At 14,410 feet, it is a giant. Though it is not the highest of mountains, Mount Rainier’s sheer bulk and the fact that it is set apart from its neighboring peaks in the range make it the dominant landmark of the region. So much does it dominate the surrounding landscape, that it is commonly referred to by locals simply as “The Mountain.” Rainier’s legendary beauty is as great as its overpowering size. Its 27 glaciers cover more than 34 square miles, making it the largest single-peak glacial system in the lower 48 states. The smooth glacial ice hides what is really an extremely rugged mountain composed of many jagged surfaces. Other scenery in the park is equally impressive and heavily forested up to an altitude of about 5,000 feet. The landscape then becomes covered with absolutely magnificent meadows of wildflowers, a feature second only to the mountain itself in attracting visitors. Then, above the timberline, at about 6,500 feet, there is only rock and ice. Its beauty and awe-inspiring presence must be seen and felt.
Great American Wilderness: Touring America's National Parks

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Great American Wilderness: Touring America's National Parks

by Larry H. Ludmer (Hunter Publishing)

Perhaps the most famous peak of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascade Range, Mount Rainier is a dormant, but not extinct, ice-clad volcanic mountain. At 14,410 feet, it is a giant. Though it is not the highest of mountains, Mount Rainier’s sheer bulk and the fact that it is set apart from its neighboring peaks in the range make it the dominant landmark of the region. So much does it dominate the surrounding landscape, that it is commonly referred to by locals simply as “The Mountain.” Rainier’s legendary beauty is as great as its overpowering size.

Its 27 glaciers cover more than 34 square miles, making it the largest single-peak glacial system in the lower 48 states. The smooth glacial ice hides what is really an extremely rugged mountain composed of many jagged surfaces. Other scenery in the park is equally impressive and heavily forested up to an altitude of about 5,000 feet. The landscape then becomes covered with absolutely magnificent meadows of wildflowers, a feature second only to the mountain itself in attracting visitors. Then, above the timberline, at about 6,500 feet, there is only rock and ice. Its beauty and awe-inspiring presence must be seen and felt.

©  Larry H. Ludmer/Hunter Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Scenic Drives
Nearby City: Ashford
Season: Year-round, best mid-June through September
Local Contacts: Contact information for the park, accommodations, and dining are included in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to Mount Rainier National Park

Recent Trail Reviews

5/13/2006
0

I would recommend this drive to anyone althought it would be best if during the late summer months when the roads are completely open (which I believe was stated in the original trail info. That being said, we entered the south entrance of the park and could only go as far as Paradise. Even though we were only able to see about 1/3 of the total drive available during the summer months, I will make a point to go back because the drive is a very gradual one without the hastle of alot of switchback tight turns you may see in other mountain areas. We were lucky enough to stumble upon some deer near the National Park Inn which made the trip that much more special. The food at the National Park Inn was also very good and the homemade desserts were fantastic.



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