Iconic. Majestic. Powerful.
What other words would you use to describe Mt. Rainier?
For those of us who live near the Cascade Mountains, snow-covered volcanoes are our compass. From Mt. Baker in the north to Lassen in the south, we gauge our location by the craggy, singular peaks on the horizon.
Rainier (Tahoma to the original Native Americans here) is the Big Kahuna of them all. It's the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. It's also
the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States; if it sat side by side with K2, the world's second highest mountain, it would rise higher in the sky from its base.
|From Chinook Pass|
Of course to those of us who live within its viewshed (which is most of western and some of eastern Washington), it's simply The Mountain.
|From Sunrise area|
|From Crystal Mountain|
|Destination Muir Snowfield|
|From Mt. Fremont Lookout|
Mostly I just wanted to attempt to articulate how much this mountain means to so many people here in the upper left corner of the USA, especially those of us born in its shadow. It inspires awe, wonder, fear, joy, and a sense of stability (although geologically it's anything but stable).
Rainier is our touchstone.
|From Spray Park|
|From the Bainbridge Ferry|
|From above Paradise|
While I've never reached Rainier's summit (like many I know), I have skied its snowfields and hiked its trails.
|Going to shoot|
How about you? Have you climbed Rainier? Hiked the Wonderland Trail (or portions of it), ridden the RAMROD, or just enjoyed a stroll through its wildflower-strewn meadows? What are your favorite memories of Rainier?
Jump in with a comment below!
Also, think about giving back to The Mountain/national park, via a donation to a worthy organization like the Washington's National Parks Fund, or joining a trail maintenance crew through an organization like the Washington Trails Association.
Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons!
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