Scenic USA - Washington

Sunrise District - Mount Rainier NP

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Rainier Sunset - Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Photos by Denny Barnes
Denny Barnes Photography

   On a clear day in Seattle, when the huge Mountain looms in the distance, thereís little doubt that Mount Rainier is the tallest of all Cascade peaks. With Rainierís last volcanic activity more than a century ago, Seattleites think more about the mountainís beauty than its threat to their way of live. Located to the southeast, Mount Rainier National Park is just about an hour away from the Seattle area, proving to be one of the popular recreation venues in the area. Because 97 percent of the park is deemed wilderness, the remainder bears the majority of the parkís two million yearly visitors.
   Mt. Rainier Day Lodge at Sunrise This remarkable close-up view captures a sunset from the Sunrise section of the park. At elevation 6400 feet, Sunrise is the highest point in the park accessed by a paved road, yet it's still over 8000 feet short of Rainierís summit. Here at Sunrise Center, views of the Mountain and Emmons Glacier must wait on clear weather. When is anyone's guess.
   Famous for its 26 major glaciers and 36 miles of perennial snowfields, Mount Rainier will always appear snow-capped. But, visitors are surprised to learn that geothermal heat from inside the stratovolcano keeps the two crater rims on Columbia Crest free of snow. On exceptionally clear days, residents in Portland, Oregon, and Victoria, British Columbia, (100 - 130 miles away) can see this King of the Cascades.

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