• 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

    Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. More »

  • High Water & Inclement Weather Create Hazardous River Crossings

    Several Wonderland trail bridges on the White River and Carbon River have been washed out by high water. Be advised that some crossings will need to be forded, and in some cases may be impassable while inclement conditions continue. More »

Playdough Topo

An excerpt from a black and white topographic contour map of Mount Rainier.
An excerpt from a topographic contour map of Mount Rainier.
Overview: Students make a clay model volcano, and then create a topographic map of it. This lesson is adapted from the USGS Living with a Volcano in Your Backyard curriculum.
Grade Level:
5 - 12
Objectives: Students will be able to:
  • Recognize mountains and river valleys on a topographic map
  • Visualize how a 2-dimensional topographic map represents a 3-dimensional landscape
  • Understand contour lines and contour interval
  • Increase their spatial visualization skills
Lesson Plan:
Playdough Topo - word, 45KB
Playdough Topo - pdf, 414KB

Mount Rainier Contour Map
Mount Fuji Contour Map
Mount Rainier Anaglyph Map
Mount Fuji Anaglyph Map
USGS Playdough Topo Lesson Plan
USGS Topo Maps & Mount Rainier Lesson Plan

Did You Know?

Artist rendering of the new Paradise Visitor Center.

The park recently completed building a new visitor center at Paradise & rehabilitating the historic Paradise Inn. The new visitor center is more sustainable and less expensive to operate than the existing visitor center. The Paradise Inn, after 90 years of use, was in need of rehabilitation.