On May 10th we pulled in to Cascade Peaks RV Park at Randle, Washington, $10/night with Coast to Coast. Our stay there was shorter as we had the truck repaired while in Lincoln City, Oregon and lost one day. We only had until the 12th to see the sites. We had been warned of late snows that had closed some of the parks on our itinerary. We did attempt to see Mount St. Helens but we couldn’t get any access. We talked to a park ranger on the roads leading to the park, which were closed. He thought it was very funny when I told him that I thought the barricaded road closed signs were “just a suggestion.” The drive was scenic up to the closure and we got to see it from the opposite direction when we turned around. Mount St. Helens was not in the cards for this trip.
Mount Rainier National Park was open but many roads and trails were closed. It was ironic that the closures were due to late snows and snow was everywhere but the daytime temperature in the lower elevations was 71 degrees. Tee-shirt weather! Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range and stands at 14,411 feet elevation. It is also considered one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world. Mount Rainier is the first mountain in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with 80,000 people in the Puyallup River Valley at risk in an eruption. The Mountain has 26 glaciers and 2 volcanic craters, measuring over 1000 feet each. It’s a stunning sight.
Mount Rainier last erupted in 1894 but continues to have debris flows, which has the consistency of wet concrete with rocks. These flows take down massive trees as it flows down the mountain via the rivers. It makes for a starkly interesting landscape.
I need to mention that humans, ancient Native Americans visited, hunted and camped in this area and have had a presence for at least the last 8,500 years. Please enjoy the pictures below.
We had a large time visiting here. Stay tuned for National Buffalo Range. It was a fun caper too. Thanks for reading!