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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Aug 4-5 Night Road Closure between Nisqually Entrance and Longmire

    Due to major road work the Nisqually Rd will be closed, 9:30 pm to 4:30 am, from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. On Aug 4-5 and if necessary Aug 6, no traffic will enter or exit the park via the Nisqually Road. Use Stevens Canyon Road during closure. More »

  • 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. More »

Subalpine Wildflowers - Pink/Red

 
Bird's Beak Lousewort

Bird's Beak Lousewort

NPS Photo

Bird's Beak Lousewort
Pedicularis ornithorhyncha

This shorter flower grows to about 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) tall, with narrow, toothed, lobed leaves. Common in meadows and moist slopes throughout the park, between 6,000 and 7,000 feet (1,800-2,100 meters)

 
Elephant's Head

Left: Elephant's Head flowers; Right: Close-up of the distinctive elephant-trunk flower head.

NPS, Steve Redman

Elephant's Head
Pedicularis groenlandica

A species of lousewort; grows to 8-24 inches (20-60 cm) tall, with mostly basal leaves with slender toothed lobes. The flowers have a distinctive beak that curves down and out like the trunk of an elephant. Common in wet meadows.

 
Left: A Magenta Paintbrush plant. Right: Close up of a Magenta Paintbrush flower.

Left: A Magenta Paintbrush plant. Right: Close up of a Magenta Paintbrush flower.

NPS, Chris Roundtree

Magenta Paintbrush
Castilleja parviflora

Easily identifiable by it's bright pink "magenta" color, this paintbrush is one of many species of paintbrush found in the park. Plant grows to about 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) tall, and leaves have 1-2 slender lobes. Abundant in subalpine meadows, particularly in the Sunrise area.

 
Moss Campion

Moss Campion

NPS, Janet Killam

Moss Campion
Silene acaulis

Forming flat cushions, this alpine plant has small, pointed, dense basal leaves and pink, lilac, or pale purple flowers. More common on the east side of the park, it grows on moraines, talus slopes, and rocky ridges between 6,000 to 8,000 feet (1,800-2,400 meters).

 
A patch of Pink Monkeyflower (left); a close up of a Pink Monkeyflower (right).

A patch of Pink Monkeyflower (left) with a close-up view of a single flower (right).

NPS Photo

Pink Monkeyflower
Mimulus lewisii

Also known as Lewis's Monkeyflower, this plant forms clumps of stems 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) tall, with oval, toothed leaves. It is found along streams, springs, and wet meadows throughout the park.

 
Pink Mountain Heather

Pink Mountain Heather

NPS Photo

Pink Mountain Heather
Phyllodoce empetriformis

Forms low, branched mats with stems 4-16 inches (10-40 cm) tall and covered with alternating, needle-like evergreen leaves. Common in subalpine meadows between 5,000-8,000 feet (1,500-2,400 meters).

 
Scarlet Paintbrush in front of a small ephemeral waterfall.

Scarlet Paintbrush

NPS Photo

Scarlet Paintbrush
Castilleja miniata

Very common (also known as "Common Red Paintbrush"), mostly found above 5,000 feet (1,524 meters). This paintbrush stands 8-16 inches (20-40 cm) tall with lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are a good way to distinguish this paintbrush from other paintbrush species, which have lobed leaves.

 
Spreading Phlox

Spreading Phlox

NPS Photo

Spreading Phlox
Phlox diffusa

As indicated by its name, this plants spreads widely along the ground, and is common along roadsides, rocky ridges, and talus slopes. Leaves are narrow and less than an inch long (1-1.5 cm). Flowers are tinged blue when initially opening, then transition to pink-white as the blossom ages.

 
Subalpine Daisy

Subalpine Daisy

NPS Photo

Subalpine Daisy
Erigeron peregrinus

Very common in subalpine meadows, with spoon-shaped basal leaves and unbranched stems 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) in height. It is easy to confuse this flower with the Alpine Aster (Aster alpigenus), but the Aster has fewer petals and appears more purplish in color, while the Daisy has many layered petals ringing the flower head.

Did You Know?

Tahoma Creek suspension bridge

The 93 mile Wonderland Trail encircles the mountain offering hikers commanding views of Mount Rainier blanketed by 25 icy glaciers. The trail leads through extensive subalpine meadows of wildflowers and lowland old growth forest. The Tahoma Creek suspension bridge is part of the Wonderland Trail.