Mount Rainier National Park Washington USA

Trees on a hill, Mt. Rainier National Park Washington - Kelly  vanDellenSubject Matter for 2/June/2021
1. Trees on a hill, Mt. Rainier National Park Washington – Kelly vanDellen

The star attraction of Mount Rainier National Park is undoubtedly its namesake mountain , rising more than 4,250 metres in elevation and dominating its surroundings. But what surroundings: More than 80,000 hectares of pristine wilderness share the scene with that mighty stratovolcano. Nearly half of that area is covered by old-growth forests, and 26 glaciers blanket over 75 square kilometres of the park. Wildflowers growing across high meadows on the mountain slopes burst into full bloom sometime in the late summer. The vibrant palette includes fruit-bearing plants as well, such as carpets of red huckleberry,(Vaccinium parvifolium) seen here dressed in autumn colours for our image.

Vaccinium parvifolium.

Vaccinium parvifolium - red huckleberry
Vaccinium parvifolium

2. By Meggar at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Mount Rainier National Park

The purpose of Mount Rainier National Park is to protect and preserve unimpaired the majestic icon of Mount Rainier, a glaciated volcano, along with its natural and cultural resources, values, and dynamic processes. The park provides opportunities for people to experience, understand, and care for the park environment, and also provides for wilderness experiences and sustains wilderness values.


Mount Rainier Wilderness, which was designated in 1988, protects 97 percent of the park as wilderness under the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Tatoosh, Clearwater, Glacier View, and William O. Douglas Wildernesses all border it on three sides. On February 18, 1997, the park was designated as a National Historic Landmark as a showcase for National Park Service Rustic style architecture from the 1920s and 1930s, as exemplified by the Paradise Inn, which is a gem of early NPS master planning. The park was administratively placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic Landmark district. 

Native Americans

A projectile point dated to about 4,000–5,800 BP (before present) found along Bench Lake Trail is the earliest indication of human activity in the area that is now Mount Rainier National Park (the first section of Snow Lake Trail).

A rock shelter near Fryingpan Creek, east of Goat Island Mountain, was a more significant archaeological find. Artifacts from hunting were discovered in the shelter. The shelter would  have been used seasonally. According to cultural affinities, the site was used by Columbia Plateau Tribes between 1000 and 300 BC.

The National Park Service hired Washington State University in 1963 to research Native American use of Mount Rainier. Prehistoric humans used the area most actively between 8000 and 4500 BP, according to an archaeological investigation led by Richard Daugherty. Allan H. Smith conducted interviews with senior Native Americans as well as research into anthropological literature. In the park region, he found no signs of permanent occupancy. The park was used for hunting and collecting as well as ghost quests on rare occasions. Along watershed lines, Smith came to the provisional conclusion that the park was divided among five tribes: the Nisqually, Puyallup, Muckleshoot, Yakama, and Taidnapam (Upper Cowlitz) Smith’s theory that the tribes had agreed on limits before signing treaties with the US in 1854–55 has been disproved by further research.

Park Creation

President William McKinley signed a law enacted by Congress on March 2, 1899, establishing Mount Rainier National Park, the country’s sixth national park. It was the country’s first national park, formed from a national forest. Mount Rainier was part of the Pacific Forest Reserve, which was established in 1893. In 1897, it was renamed Mount Rainier Forest Reserve after being expanded. Mount Rainier was visited by John Muir in 1888. In what became the fifth recorded ascent, Muir and nine others, including Edward Sturgis Ingraham, Charles Piper, and P. B. Van Trump, ascended to the top.

2006 Flooding as the result of the (Pineapple Express is a non-technical term for a meteorological phenomenon characterized by a strong and persistent flow of moisture and associated with heavy precipitation from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands and extending to any location along the Pacific coast of North America. A Pineapple Express is an example of an atmospheric river, which is a more general term for such narrow corridors of enhanced water vapor transport at mid-latitudes around the world.)


Mount Rainier National Park features an Alpine Meadows & Barren, or Alpine tundra prospective vegetation type with an Alpine Meadow potential vegetation form, according to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. Potential natural vegetation types. The park’s vegetation is diversified, reflecting the varying climatic and environmental circumstances found across the park’s elevation gradient of 12,800 feet. In the park, more than 960 vascular plant species and 260 nonvascular plant species have been found.


Examples of some of the Fauna in the mount Rainer National Park.

Mammals that inhabit this national park are the cougarblack bearraccooncoyotebobcatsnowshoe hareweaselmolebeaverred foxporcupineskunkmarmotdeermartenshrewpikaelk, and mountain goat. The common birds of this park including raptors are the thrushchickadeekingletnorthern goshawkwillow flycatcherspotted owlsteller’s jayClark’s nutcrackerbald eagleptarmiganharlequin duckgrouseperegrine falconCanada jaygolden eaglegrosbeak and finch.

Image 1 Source Van Dellen, K., (U) RainierHuckleberryWashington. [ONLINE]. Available at: Dellen, K., (2021) RainierHuckleberryWashington. [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed 2 June 2021].-Washington-State-USA-Poster-Print/143158865?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=17374 [Accessed 2 June 2021].

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