Mount Rainier, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington state, USA
© Brad Goldpaint/Cava
Mount Rainier is the star of its namesake national park. At 4,392 metres above sea level, it is the fifth-tallest peak in the continental United States. Beyond the mountain, the 957-square-kilometre park in Washington state also includes valleys, waterfalls, old-growth forest and pristine alpine meadows famous for summer wildflowers.
Although beautiful, Mount Rainier is also one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world due to its high probability of eruption in the near future. In addition to spewing ash and triggering landslides, a major eruption would likely cause massive mudflows, called lahars, that would send a tsunami of mud, boulders and debris towards the cities of Tacoma and Seattle.