Photos of Mount Rainier. Landscape Images from Mount Rainier in Washington State, USA
Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano and the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range. Mt. Rainier summit is at an elevation of 14,411 feet (4,027 m). It is the most popular mountaineering destination in the lower 48 states. It is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. The massive icefields can create huge lahars that during catastrophic eruptions can threaten the whole Puyallup River Valley.
On clear days it dominates the southeastern horizon in most of the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. On days of exceptional clarity, it can also be seen from as far away as Portland, Oregon, and Victoria, British Columbia. With 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles (93 km2) of permanent snowfields and glaciers, Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states.
The summit is topped by two volcanic craters, each more than 1,000 feet (300 m) in diameter with the larger east crater overlapping the west crater. Geothermal heat from the volcano keeps areas of both crater rims free of snow and ice, and has formed the world's largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters, with nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) of passages. A small crater lake about 130 by 30 feet (40 by 9.1 m) in size and 16 feet (5 m) deep, the highest in North America occupies the lowest portion of the west crater below more than 100 feet (30 m) of ice and is accessible only via the caves. The Carbon, Puyallup, Mowich, Nisqually, and Cowlitz Rivers begin at the glaciers of Mount Rainier.
The sources of the White River are Winthrop, Emmons, and Fryingpan Glaciers. The White, Carbon, and Mowich join the Puyallup River, which discharges into Commencement Bay at Tacoma; the Nisqually empties into Puget Sound east of Lacey; and the Cowlitz joins the Columbia River between Kelso and Longview.