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The Wonderland Trail
encircling Mount Rainier

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Mount Rainier

General Information    History    Volcanoes/Glaciers    Flora and Fauna    Weather
Fees
Hiking/Camping    Other Activities

 

Volcanoes and Glaciers

Mount Rainier is a volcano that is believed to be dormant and not extinct.   The volcano began to grow between one half and one million years ago.  The slopes of lava flows on opposite sides of the mountain projected more than 1000 feet above the present summit.  The upper portion of the cone was probably removed by explosions and landslides.  The current summit, Columbia Crest at 14,411 feet, lies on the rim of the recent lava cone.

There are 25 named glaciers and about 50 small, unnamed glaciers and snowfields on the slopes of Mount Rainier.  Mount Rainier has the largest single peak glacial system in the lower 48.  The largest glacier on the mountain is the Emmons Glacier on the east side near Sunrise.  The largest glacier seen from Paradise is the Nisqually Glacier.