What is mount Rainier, Volcano? Ski Resort? Mountain Climbing? Scenic Views? Animal Preserve? Fisherman’s Haven? We can safely say that it is ALL OF THE ABOVE and much, much more.
(Rainier pronounced as : Ray-Near or Ray-Neer for those unfamiliar with it…on the other hand, Rainier being a French word, should be pronounced as Rin-Yay or Ren-Yay…but rest assured, no one says it that way.)
Original spelling of Mount Rainier was : Mount Regniere. Needless to say, it’s current spelling , is much easier. 🙂
Many of us that have grown up in the shadow of “The Mountain” have always stood in awe of it. This is especially true when the skies above are crystal clear. It almost seems to jump out at you, though you are many miles away.
Year Round Enjoyment
Regardless of the time of year, it’s always accessible to all who want to venture up it’s beautiful slopes. Winter, you’ll enjoy the many snow covered areas. Enjoyed by the novice or seasoned skier.
Fall has the changing colors of the multi leaf filled trees that line the roads leading to it’s base. With so many broad leafed trees throughout the state, it’s little wonder that during this time of the year, its a photographers paradise!
Spring brings on the crisp, clean air and the endorphins that make you almost giddy because of feeling so good. The awakening of wildlife along with the many streams that open up because of the tremendous amounts of snow melt turning rivers into flowing ice cold glacier waters.
Summer is one of the most scenic times of the year. Not too hot and not too cold. During August, when hiking on The Mountain, the huge variety of wild flowers come out. Fields of small, medium and large pedaled mountain flowers show up by the millions!
Let’s Take A Hike
Be Aware Of Potential Dangers
Enjoying scenic views and natural setting can distract us from possible injury. Enjoy, but always be aware of your surroundings.
A Bit Of History Of Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier in the 1800’s was known by American Indians as Tacoma. However, the name Tacoma was adopted by the city of Tacoma and not the mountain.
In about 1890, the US Board of Geographical Names officially named it Mount Rainier. The name has stuck since though there have been some challenges along the way.
Shortly after the official naming of Mount Rainier, a national park was established for all to enjoy, and at 14,410 feet in height, (snowfall makes is 14,411 feet according to some) that is plenty of mountain for all to do so.
Mount Rainier Volcano
When we hear the word volcano, often times we think of the big island of Hawaii. There we see lava flows and spewing hot mud, rock, and more, exploding from the depths of the earth.
However, no need to worry about that occurring while visiting Mount Rainier. In fact, the last recorded activity of the Mountain, was about 1894. Though the Mountain remains an active volcano, there really is no evidence of any type of eruption.
After Mount Saint Helens (may 18, 1980) erupted, all eyes were focused on Mount Rainier for a number of years. Happily we can say that it is still “resting.”
Take a look at the below map and note the lava flows that have occurred. When you visit the Mount Rainier Paradise Lodge area, you see this same map, but in 3-D. It’s laid out on a very large platform where you can walk around it and see things up close.
Who Saw It First?
Captain George Vancouver came to the Puget (pew-jet) Sound area in 1792. He was the first European to see it.
Bill Tolmie explored the Mountain. As his medical interests with plants took him to all areas of the Mountain. But there is more.
Who Climbed It First?
The year 1870 rolled around along with a “hero’s” welcome to two men who scaled the Mountain. Hazard Stevens and P. Van Trump as they sallied forth into the Olympia arena.
Then, shortly after them, the first woman to scale Rainier was Fay Fuller along with P. Van Trump in 1890 and others.
John Muir, an advocate of protecting the mountain, enjoyed the scenic views that it afforded him. Shortly afterwards there was the Pacific Forest Reserve area that was set aside after his promoting it’s protection.
Along with that, and the promotion of tourism to the area, the Mount Rainier National Park (5th park in U.S.) was established for all to see. That is the park that you will enjoy as you tour the Mountain.
How important is Mount Rainier as a landmark for the state of Washington?
Note the quarter along with the salmon on the quarter’s face. It’s 100% Washington.
Have you ever Enjoyed Mount Rainier or the state of Washington? Leave your thoughts below.
Written by : Tom McDaniel Share this with friends