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|Mt. Rainier National Park|
The Tatoosh Range
Mt. Rainier is not the only spectacular mountain within the confines of the park. Competing with the grandeur of Mt. Ranier are the rugged, sawtooth mountains of the Tatoosh Range which are visible from the Paradise area and throughout much of the park.
The Tatoosh Range itself is older than Mt. Rainier. It was formed by the remains of lava flows which are 2.5 to 3.5 million older than Mt. Rainier.
Here, molten rock pushed up the basalt surface about 12 million years ago. The sharp pinnacles of the Tatoosh Range were carved by glaciers.
Two of the highest peaks in the Tatoosh Range are Eagle and Pinnacle Peaks. Below, the peaks of the range can be seen at twillight.
The unusual name "Tatoosh" was derived from a word meaning "nourishing beast."
Some of the best views of the Tatoosh Range can be found at the Paradise area, from the deck of Paradise Inn, parking lots, or trails in the valley.
The picture below also displays some of the lush forest which characterize much of the low altitude sections of the park.
57% of the park is forested. These forests feature western hemlock, west red cedar, and Douglas fir. These forest may also include red alder, big leaf maple, vine maple, black cottonwood, and also feature plants such as moss and lichens.
The mid elevation forests are characterized by the hemlocks, firs, and red cedars, but also Pacific silver fir, noble fir, western pine, vine maple, Sitka alder, and Pacific yew.
The mountains of the Tatoosh Range are very low compared with the giant Mt. Rainier, but their craggy, sawtooth appearance makes them a effective counterpart to the centerpiece of the park.
For potential visitors, ParkVision recommends "Story Behind the Scenery" guides and "Trails Ilustrated" maps.
The Tatoosh Range includes Eagle Peak at 5958 feet, Pinnacle Peak at 6562 feet, Plummer Peak at 6370 feet, and Chutla Peak, Lane Peak, and The Castle.
Beautiful views of the Tatoosh Range from the Paradise area and many spots on the road from Longmire to Paradise to the Stevens Creek Canyon. This view, one of the best, is from a pull-out on the road just below the Paradise Loop.
One additional picture of two of the craggy Tatoosh speaks is shown below.
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- All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2012
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