With a massive 14,411-foot glacier-covered volcano smack in the center of the park, it's no wonder that Mount Rainier NP is a drop-dead-gorgeous hiking destination!
Mount Rainier soars to a sky-scraping elevation of 14,411 feet above sea level. And Rainier's location just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean makes that number even more significant: Rainier claims an incredible 13,210 feet of prominence, making it "the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States," according to Wikipedia. This also makes Rainier the tallest mountain in Washington State, the Cascade Range, and the Pacific Northwest.
More than a mere mountain peak, "Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world," according to Wikipedia. Since Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the lower 48, much of this danger is due to its massive amounts of glacial ice increasing the possibility of destructive mudflows. All of these factors—the massive prominence, the threatening volcano, and the expansive glaciers—combine to make Rainier an intimidating landscape.
Yet in spite of—or perhaps _because of_—this intimidating landscape, Rainier is also one of the most epic and beautiful adventure destinations in North America! Seemingly every hike offers jaw-dropping views of the soaring mountain peaks and the dwindling glaciers. But in addition, hikers will enjoy endless meadows filled with wildflowers, rushing mountain streams, rugged trails, and tumbling waterfalls.
Mount Rainier National Park offers enough adventure to fill a lifetime, but if you're looking to maximize the views on your upcoming trip to the region, try starting with one of the hikes from this list!