Camp Muir has long been an oddity on the side of Rainier, half historical beauty and half crumbling way station. Now Mount Rainier National Park has annoucned plans to clean up the camp, removing a temporary shelter and rethinking the waste situation.
When John Muir climbed Mount Rainier in 1888, there were no trails, no Cliff Bars, and no JetBoil stoves to prepare the morning coffee. Around 10,000 feet—about halfway between the treeline and the summit—there was only "Cloud Camp" on a small plateau where his party spent the night. The park named the camp after the naturalist, and now more than 6,000 climbers use it as a base for their summit attempt.
The Seattle Times notes that while the beautiful stone structures where independent climbers and rangers sleep are designated as historic buildings, the "black box" used by the guide services (colloquially named for Nawang Gombu, the Sherpa who partnered the first American on Everest) and waste facilities are not. Work on replacing them is expected to start next summer.For more on Mount Rainier, check out our complete guide—where to hike, where to sleep, and what it's like to try for the summit and fail.