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Mt. Rainier @ 4,392 m / 14,410ft. | by Andrew E. Larsen
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Mt. Rainier @ 4,392 m / 14,410ft.

Mount Rainier is an active stratovolcano (also known as a composite volcano) in Pierce County, Washington, located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle, Washington, in the United States. It is the highest peak in the Cascade Range and Cascade Volcanic Arc at 14,410 feet (4,392 m). The mountain and the surrounding area are protected within Mount Rainier National Park. With 26 major glaciers, Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states with 35 square miles (91 km²) of permanent snowfields and glaciers. The summit is topped by two volcanic craters, each over 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 an extensive network of glacier caves within the ice-filled craters. A small crater lake, the highest in North America, occupies the lowest portion of the west crater below more than 160 feet (50 m) of ice and is accessible only via the caves.


Mount Rainier has a topographic prominence of 13,210 feet (4,026 m), greater than that of K2. It is a prominent feature of the southern landscape in most of the Seattle metropolitan area. On clear days, it can also be seen from as far away as Portland, Oregon, and Victoria, British Columbia. Because of its scenic dominance, Seattle-Tacoma-area residents sometimes refer to it simply as "the Mountain."

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Taken on August 14, 2008