Over 1.3 million people come to Mount Rainier National Park annually. This is located in the US state of Washington and covers 954 square kilometers. It was founded on March 2, 1899.
The 4,392 meter high Mount Rainier is a volcanic giant. It is covered with ice and snow. According to scientific research, it was last active around 2,000 years ago.
Rather unusual for a volcano, one immediately notices the particularly rich vegetation. There are a total of 26 glaciers on Mount Rainier. Some of them have not been given names. The forest, which is more like a jungle, impresses with its biodiversity. In the middle layers there are mountain meadows rich in flowers. In addition, you will find quiet mountain lakes, torrents and enormous waterfalls here.
The history of Mount Rainier National Park
It is believed that the first people lived in what is now Mount Rainier National Park’s area 8,000 years ago. An arrowhead about 6,000 years old was found when the streets were being built in the park. In the fertile spring and summer months, people must have lived in today’s park area or in the mountains around Mount Rainier.
The white settlers shared the area with five Indian tribes during the summer months. The Indians gathered berries, roots, herbs and materials to weave baskets. This activity was carried out by women and children. The women were also sent to hunt small animals and birds. The men fished and had the job of hunting game.
This earlier duty became a tradition and so there was an annual blueberry camp. It was last celebrated in 1950. The Yakima women hosted this traditional festival.
Incidentally, the mountain is named Rainier because the Spanish navigator Captain George Vancouver discovered the mountain in 1792 and named it after his friend Admiral Peter Rainier.
The Longmire family came to what is now Mount Rainier National Park in 1853. Head of the family James Longmire found hot springs in the Nisqually Valley 30 years later. He immediately commercialized them and advertised them as medicinal springs.
The Indians had great respect for the mountain covered with snow and ice. For them it was a sacred and dreaded place at the same time. A troop of whites conquered the mountain, but they only survived because they discovered hot sulfur springs. Otherwise they too would have frozen to death.
The first ascent of the mountain attracted a lot of other mountaineers who tried to conquer Mount Rainier from then on. Eventually the wave of mass tourism spilled over onto Mount Rainier and caused severe damage to it.
In 1899 an attempt was made to stop the destruction by declaring the park as a nature reserve. But unfortunately the borders around the area have been drawn very tightly. The destruction behind the border through deforestation, livestock farming and the trampling of entire meadows unfortunately continues.
All efforts to expand the park boundaries have so far failed.
Fauna and Flora in Mount Rainier National Park
There are approximately 50 species of mammals in the park. Including black-tailed deer, which has the largest population of the large mammals in the park. Black bears and elk deer also live in the area of Mount Rainier National Park. The goat antelope species the mountain goat has also found its habitat here.
So far, no mountain lions have been sighted, but their tracks such as prints or droppings have already been made out. It is therefore assumed that these animals also live here. They are very shy and can hide well.
The fertile soil in the park area brings out lush and abundant plants. The entire area is covered by forest and meadows. The meadows are particularly rich in flowers in summer. The typical mountain flowers are located further up the mountain. Although there is only a comparatively small amount of vegetation here, it is no less beautiful and impressive.