Shutterstock by Roman Khomlyak
Some things get better with age. It’s taken half a million years of lava flows for Mount Rainier to form itself, and the national park that cradles the volcano turns 120 this year. But it doesn’t look a day over 100—especially now that Paradise Inn got another face-lift. Beneath its 25 glaciers and acres of subalpine meadows, our state’s signature peak hides rare wolverines and ice worms and deep human roots. It’s hugged by small towns with big charm, and vibrant adventure on every border. You can explore its inner workings, or ascend to the state’s highest hangout, but know this: At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is big enough to never give away all her secrets. We wouldn’t have her any other way.