Friday, 29 July 2011

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park was established in 1899 and is famous for its dense forests, dazzling wildflower meadows, tremendous snowfields and rugged glaciers.  96% of the park is designated as wilderness.
Mount Rainer is capped with 26 glaciers and has a dense forest of Douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock surrounding  its base.
The roads leading through the park are windy and  narrow and especially  where there was low elevation  the trees were close to the road. These roads are only open between July and late September.  It is not hard to see why when it is now summer and there are large amounts of snow still around.
 There are 5 entrances to the park.  We drove in from Seattle through to Sunrise  and we exited the park at Paradise.   Sunrise is the highest point in the park that you can reach by vehicle , 6400 ft above sea level. We were lucky to have a  sunny  afternoon so were able to get some  breathtaking views of Mount Rainier  and the cascade range that surrounds it.  Amongst the snow the meadows  and roadsides had wildflowers starting to bloom.  From Sunrise we went to  White River  camp ground where we camped for the night.  
When a girl  first saw the subalpine meadows, she exclaimed “ this must be what Paradise is like”- hence the name. The following day we made our way to Paradise seeing  more snow, crossing glacier flowing rivers and  driving  alongside some beautiful  lakes. We walked down to Narda waterfall  and  across Box Canyon Gorge.   We saw 2  Black tailed deer , a marmot and a  variety of birds.
Paradise is where the park’s main visitors centre is  located.  Here we went to see an information video on Mount Rainier.  Paradise is a prime winter use area  where an average of 680  inches of snow  falls. It also receives on average 126 inches of rain.  
Mount Rainier is a sleeping volcano having the potential to erupt again at some unknown time just like that of Mount St Helens.   There are no words to describe this area other than just
Simply stunning ...... 

Mount Rainier

 Sunrise in Mount Rainer N/ Park  

Wildflowers alongside the road

Road winding around the mountain

Road in Rainier National Park

Road over gorge

reflection lake in snow

Reflection Lake


Paradise Waterfall

Paradise River




Lake Louise

Iced Lake

Forest road

Deer crossing road

Box Valley

Black tailed deer
Box Gorge
Bridge over canyon
Mount Rainer  and the RV
Mount Rainier National Park entrance
Mount Rainier

Narada Waterfall

Rainier Mountain among clouds

Snow lining roads  near Sunrise
Stevens Creek
Sunrise View Point


Walkway around Box Gorge
road in Rainier N/ Park

On way to Sunrise
Paradise River
RV alongside lake

Road through the mountain


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