Mount Rainier National Park Professional Review and Guide
"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."