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Mt. Rainier

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In the Puget Sound region of Washington when someone says the Mountain is out, everyone knows what that means. Cloud-free blue sky with a giant mound of white visible from all over the state. Which is why Mount Rainier was chosen to represent Washington on the state's license plates and on newly minted quarters. Mount Rainier may be the best known image of the Pacific Northwest, along with the Space Needle.

The Mountain is an aweinspiring site no matter how you see it, from the distance, from the air, or up close while in Mount Rainier National Park. Mount Rainier is on every page of the Pacific Northwest Shop website as well as our Mount Rainier Gift Boxes.

Mount Rainier National Park in Washington is one of the oldest parks in the National Park System. Established in 1899. 235,625 acres (97% is designated Wilderness). Includes Mount Rainier (14,410'), an active volcano encased in over 35 square miles of snow and ice. The park contains outstanding examples of old growth forests and subalpine meadows. The park was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1997 as a showcase for the "National Park Service Rustic" style architecture of the 1920s and 1930s.

Mount Rainier, the highest volcano in the Cascade Range, hovers above more than 2.5 million Washingtonians in the Seattle Tacoma metropolitan area. Mount Rainier is the most hazardous volcano in the Cascades in terms of its potential for damage far in excess of the results of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Glaciers are among the most noticeable and dynamic geologic features on Mount Rainier. They erode the volcanic cone and are important sources of water for several rivers, including some that provide water for hydroelectric power and irrigation. Together with perennial snow patches, glaciers cover about 36 square miles of the mountain's surface, about nine percent of the total park area, and have a volume of about one cubic mile.

Glaciers may seem to be static but in fact, they change and flow continuously. Maximum speeds occur near the surface and along the centerline of the glacier. During May, 1970, Nisqually Glacier was measured moving up 29 inches per day. Flow rates are generally greater in summer than in winter, probably due to the presence of large quantities of meltwater at the glacier base. During periods of high temperatures in summer glacial melt flows all the way to Tacoma's Commencement Bay, causing tourists to ask what is causing the giant plume of reddish-brown water staining the usually clear water.

Whether hiking, climbing to its summit, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, camping along its glacier-fed rivers, photographing wildflowers or waterfalls, or just enjoying the view, millions of people come to enjoy the grandeur and beauty of Mount Rainier.

The Pacific Northwest Shop sells several Mt. Rainier products.


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