Mount Rainier and Pyramid Peak

Mount Rainier and Pyramid Peak reflected in Mirror Lake, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.
In 1899 a National Park 324 square miles in area was created to contain Mount Rainier with its 48 square miles of glaciers and the beautiful meadows of sub-alpine wild flowers which surround the base of this majestic extinct volcanic cone, towering 14,363 feet above sea level. Mount Rainier possesses the most extensive glacier system of any mountain in the United States. Twenty-eight named rivers of ice and a great number of unnamed ones flow down from its summit, carving fourteen distinct valleys in the solid rock of the mountain's surface. Because of these snow-white rivers, the Indians called the peak, The Fountain Breast of Milk White Waters. Many of the glaciers are from four to six miles long and they extend in all directions from the summit to the base.

Since the creation of the National Park, many good roads have been built, so that most of the glaciers can be visited by automobile. But to enjoy the full beauty of the wonderful peak one must leave the roads, abandon vehicles and even horses and go upward on foot over narrow trails. The last part of the ascent is arduous and by no means without its dangers. But once at the top, on Columbia Crest, the adventurous climber forgets all past perils in the marvelous view of snow-capped peaks and deep abysses on every side. We are viewing the peak from the shore of one of the lovely lakes formed by the melting ice of the glaciers. The Indian tribes living in sight of this summit called it Tacob, Tahoma or Tacoma, meaning, The Great Snow. They frequently made pilgrimages to it and had many myths and legends connected with it.

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