Mount Rainier, an ice-clad volcano rising 14,411 feet, is the highest point in the state of Washington. A striking landmark in the Pacific Northwest, its cap of glacial ice makes the mountain doubly impressive. Currently dormant, Mount Rainier is not considered extinct. It belongs to the class of exploding volcanoes, similar to Mount St. Helens, and could one day re-awaken.
Mount Rainier’s 34 square mile of glaciers constitute the largest single-peak glacial system in the contiguous United States; with 26 glaciers extending down the mountainside. Forests cover the mountainsides up to 5,000 feet, gradually transitioning to alpine meadows of wildflowers and grass up to the timberline at 6,500 feet. Deer, bears and mountain goats inhabit the forests, meadows and ridges. These photographs of the mountain and its summit were taken October 1998.