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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Expect delays due to road construction.

    Road construction is underway from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. The road has very rough areas. All vehicles should proceed with caution. Mon to Fri expect up to 30 minute delays and slow travel for 7 miles. 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 »

King of the Mountain

Mount Rainier with subalpine meadow/forest "parkland" in the foreground.
Subalpine forest/meadow is one of the four main life zones found on Mount Rainier.
NPS Photo
Overview: Students will learn about the low-elevation forest, mid-elevation forest, subalpine forest/meadow, and alpine life zones on Mount Rainier by creating a playdough volcano and plant and animal adaptation cards to determine which team is "king of the mountain".
Grade Level:
6 - 8
Objectives: Students will:
  • identify characteristic life forms in each of the four main life zones
  • describe adaptations of the living things in each ecological community
  • identify that there are no set boundaries for the plants and animals of a life zone and that organisms migrate through more than one life zone
Lesson Plan:
King of the Mountain - word, 53KB
King of the Mountain - pdf, 659KB
Resources: King of the Mountain Powerpoint Presentation
King of the Mountain Adaptation Cards
Life Zone Animals and Plants

Did You Know?

A female volunteer works with park staff on revegetation project

In 2012, 1,804 volunteers contributed 74,615 hours of service to Mount Rainier National Park. Find out how you can volunteer at Mount Rainier. More...