• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Nisqually to Paradise delays and Kautz Creek area closure.

    Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. Beginning May 29 to mid-June, all services at the Kautz Creek parking and picnic area are closed through the week. Limited parking on Sat & Sun. More »

  • Melting snow bridges and high streamflows create hazards for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers

    Be aware of hidden- and potentially fatal- hazards created by snow bridges and high streamflows on Mount Rainier. More »

Curriculum Materials

Sister Mountain Curriculum Materials
The Sister Mountain Curriculum Project teaches middle and high school students in the United States and Japan about two iconic mountains, Mount Fuji and Mount Rainier. These famous peaks serve as a lens to focus student awareness of mountains' physical processes, ecology, and human culture. Students gain insight into the value of mountains and the importance of stewardship. By highlighting similarities and differences between these two volcanoes and their people, the project also enhances international understanding. In August 2010, six Japanese teachers visited Mount Rainier to meet with American teachers and review the lesson plans they had developed. In 2012, Japanese teachers hosted a workshop in Japan for the US teachers.

Nisqually River Curriculum Materials
Where the River Begins, the first in a series of interdisciplinary curriculum guides focusing on the Nisqually River Watershed (the Nisqually River begins near the top of Mount Rainier at the Nisqually Glacier), is designed for upper elementary to middle school students. The guide includes pre- and post-visit activities and field trip activities that provide overview of glaciers, glacial rivers, life zones, national parks, and some park history.

Curriculum Guide
Student Log Book

The Nisqually River Council provides more information about the Nisqually River Corridor.

Volcano Curriculum Materials
Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard, an interdisciplinary middle school curriculum, focuses on the processes, products, and hazards associated with living in the shadow of Mount Rainier, the volcano. The curriculum is divided into three thematic chapters: What the Past Tells Us, Today's Discoveries Unlock the Past, and Don't be Scared- Be Prepared! Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard is part of the partnership between the park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory. You can browse some of this curriculum's lesson plans below (more on the way).

The Washington State History Museum offers a new Ring of Fire: Volcanoes of Washington State History Box that helps students explore the historic interaction between the people of Washington and their ever-changing volcanic landscape. Find out more from the Washington State History Museum's Education Department.

Browse Our Curriculum Materials

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  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Volcano Fan Club

    Students simulate tephra transport by placing ingredients in front of running fan, and mapping the resultant layers. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Tephra Explorer

    Students view distribution patterns of tephra layers found around Mount Rainier and discover their source. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    A String of Volcanoes

    Students research information about Cascade volcanoes in Washington, Oregon, and California, then transfer the information onto the appropriate mobile piece before constructing the mobile "A String of Volcanoes". This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Magma Mash

    In an exploration of magma behavior, students role-play minerals that are cooling at different rates, and then examine rock samples. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Lahar in a Jar!

    Lahar in a Jar!

    Explore how small amounts of water can mobilize loose rock to form lahars by making a small lahar within the safety of a beaker or jar and analyzing it using scientific methods. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Fire and Ice

    Fire and Ice

    Students use ice cream glaciers and hot wax lava flows to simulate the interactions of glaciers and lava flows. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Earth Blocks

    Students explore a riverbank with a geologist and learn about the Law of Superposition by arranging and interpreting Earth Blocks. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Fire, Flood, and Fury!

    Fire, Flood, and Fury!

    Native American oral traditions chronicle geologic events in the recent history of Mount Rainier. These stories are read, interpreted, and illustrated by students with the use of storyboards. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Soda Bottle Volcano

    Soda Bottle Volcano

    Examine how gases provide for explosive volcanic eruptions by making comparisons to gases in a soda bottle and by conducting a carefully controlled "eruption" of baking soda/vinegar or soda water. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

  • Mount Rainier National Park

    Shoebox Geologist

    Shoebox Geologist

    Model depositional processes from volcanically active areas using sediments in a shoebox. Interpret geologic events from layers in a classmate's shoebox model and draw a stratigraphic column graphic. This lesson plan is part of the "Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard" curriculum, created through a partnership between Mount Rainier National Park and the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory.

Did You Know?

Gobblers Knob fire lookout.

In the early 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corp constructed fire lookouts throughout the park to help protect the surrounding area from fire. Four historic lookouts still remain in the Mount Rainier National Historic Landmark District including Tolmie, Shriner, Fremont, and Gobblers Knob.