Mount Rainier’s Wildlife and Wildflowers

With Bruce Barcott, Craig Romano, and Charlotte Austin By Allison Williams July 19, 2012 Published in the August 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Sight a black bear—no grizzlies—in the Mazama Ridge area east of Paradise in late summer; train binoculars to the open meadows. 

Harlequin Ducks
They’re not as populous as the camp robber jays that frequent the picnic areas, but these colorfully striped birds line the Nisqually and Ohanapecosh rivers.

Mountain Goats
The shaggy goats stay in the alpine and subalpine areas and are more elusive here than in the Olympics. They’re best spotted above Sunrise on Burroughs Mountain or at Panhandle Gap.  

Easier to spot than the animals (and not nearly as shy), the bluish purple flowers fill the meadows above Paradise in late summer. 

Indian Paintbrush
Two varieties—magenta and scarlet—are often seen in subalpine meadows and along trails. Find giant bursts of flowery color in the loop around Tipsoo Lake.

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