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Mount Rainer and Alder Lake, WA

We departed Camano Island on the morning of July 12 for a two day stay at Alder Lake in the shadow of Mt.Rainer. With a summit elevation of 14,411 ft (4,392 m), it is the highest mountain in the state of Washington and the Cascade Range, the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States, and the tallest in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.

On July 13, Karen and I entered the southwest Nisqually entrance of the National Park and traveled up the volcano through Longmire and up to the Paradise area at approximately 5,400 feet (1,600 m) on the south slope. Paradise is the most popular destination for visitors to Mount Rainier National. We visited the visitor center and checked out the Paradise Inn. Originally built in 1916, the lodge is indeed grand and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Mt. Rainer has the largest alpine glacial system outside of Alaska and the world's largest volcanic glacier cave system (in the summit crater). Visible throughout the region, Mount Rainier shapes the physical environment and defines the identity of the Pacific Northwest.

If you're ever in the Pacific Northwest make a point of exploring Mt. Rainer National Park.

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