Mount Rainier National Park is a majestic, glacier-fed national park located in the state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is the most visited park in the state, drawing over 2 million visitors each year. Mount Rainier has a long history of human habitation, but it was most famously declared a national park by President Benjamin Harrison in 1899.
The park is over 236,000 acres in size, making it the fifth largest in the United States. It is named after the highest mountain in the Cascade Range and is the highest point within the park boundaries, at 4,392 meters (14,411 feet) elevation. Visitors who make their way up to Mount Rainier can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding forest and mountain peaks.
The park is full of pristine mountain environments such as alpine meadows, subalpine forest, and spectacular glacial-fed rivers and lakes. The park is home to a wide array of flora and fauna with over 70 species of different plants, animals, and fungi to explore. Some of the most commonly seen wildlife in the park include deer, elk, bear, cougars, foxes, and marmots. The evergreen forests in the park are home to a large variety of old-growth conifers such as Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, and western white pine.
There are several trails and routes for exploring the park, ranging from day hikes to multi-day backpacking expeditions. The Wonderland Trail is a 93-mile trail that encircles the peak of Mount Rainier, passing through four campgrounds, two lodges, and several scenic points along the way. Visitors can also enjoy shorter trails, such as the Nisqually Vista Trail which leads to a stunning overlook of the Nisqually River Valley. Camping at the park is a popular activity and there are several areas for dispersed camping.
The park also offers various educational and interpretive programs throughout the year. Guests can join ranger-led hikes and talks, visit the historic Longmire Museum, or take part in the Junior Ranger Program. Mount Rainier National Park is an incredible destination for anyone looking to explore the beauty and grandeur of the Pacific Northwest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Mount Rainier National Park
Where is Mount Rainier National Park located?
Mount Rainier National Park is located in Pierce County and Lewis County, Washington, approximately 80 miles (129 km) southeast of Seattle, Washington and 88 miles (142 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon.
What to do and see in Mount Rainier National Park?
Mount Rainier National Park is an outdoor adventurers paradise! Explore alpine trails, glacial vistas, old-growth forests, wildflower meadows, and jagged peaks. Go camping, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, or just take in the serene landscape of Mt. Rainier. Other activities include fishing, boat tours, rock climbing, horseback riding, and visiting the various lakes and waterfalls. Make sure to look out for the abundant native wildlife such as deer, black bears, mountain goats, elk and marmots.
Are dogs allowed in Mount Rainier National Park?
No, pets are not allowed on any of the trails in Mount Rainier National Park. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times when out on open roads, picnic areas and campgrounds.
Are there bears in Mount Rainier National Park?
Yes, there are black bears living in Mount Rainier National Park. There is no exact number of black bears in the park, but there is believed to be about 50-60 black bears in the park.