The Cowlitz Glacier is on the southeast flank of Mount Rainier in the U.S. state of Washington. The body of ice covers 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) and has a volume of 6 billion ft3 (170 million m3). The glacier starts at an elevation of 10,700 feet (3,300 m) and flows southeast. An adjacent glacier, the Paradise Glacier, is connected to this glacier on its southwest margin. As it flows down the slopes of Mount Rainier it nearly meets up with the Ingraham Glacier and during the Little Ice Age, which ended around the year 1850, the two glaciers shared a common terminus. Meltwater from the glacier drains into the Cowlitz River.
Upper Cowlitz Glacier (right center)
|Area||1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)|
About 35,000 years ago, the combined Cowlitz and Ingraham glaciers terminated some 62 mi (100 km) from Mount Rainier. As the Ice Age ended the glacier retreated north back to Mount Rainier. In recent times, the glacier has retreated and thinned, except for the period between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, during which the glacier made a notable advance.
Camp Muir, named for the naturalist John Muir, is a high-altitude refuge for climbers in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, accessed through the Paradise Entrance. The shelters comprising the camp are situated at a 10,188 ft (3,105 m) elevation between the Muir Snowfield and the Cowlitz Glacier on Mount Rainier. Camp Muir is the most-used base camp for those attempting to climb to the mountain's summit. Camp Muir is between the Nisqually and Paradise Glaciers.
The larger "public" shelter hut was built in 1921 to plans supervised by Daniel Ray Hull of the National Park Service. The 12-foot (3.7 m) by 25-foot (7.6 m) single-story one-room shelter was initially constructed of dry-laid stone. It replaced a smaller shelter which was used as a shelter for climbing guides. A dedication plaque at the entrance to the large shelter plaque reads "Erected in memory of John Muir, 1921." The guide shelter was built in 1916 by a climbing organization, the Mountaineers. It was designed by Seattle architect Carl F. Gould, a member of the Mountaineers and was approved by Park Service director Stephen T. Mather. The single-story guide shelter measures about 10 feet (3.0 m) by 24 feet (7.3 m), and is the oldest stone structure in the park. Two stone pit toilets were built at Camp Muir in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of which survives and is used for storage.There are 12 approaches to the summit from Paradise. Camp Muir provides 7 of those. Of the 7, 4 are grade II, 2 are grade III, and 1 is grade II-III.Camp Muir was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 13, 1991. It is part of the Mount Rainier National Historic Landmark District, which encompasses the entire park and which recognizes the park's inventory of Park Service-designed rustic architecture.Ingraham Glacier
Ingraham Glacier is on the south-eastern flank of Mount Rainier, in the U.S. state of Washington. The glacier is named for the Mount Rainier enthusiast Edward Sturgis Ingraham. From the summit ice cap, Ingraham Glacier flows east between Gibraltar Rock, (12,660 ft (3,860 m)), and Disappointment Cleaver and south of Little Tahoma Peak (11,138 ft (3,395 m)), which divides it from the much larger Emmons Glacier to the north. Descending southeast, it approaches the east flank of Cowlitz Glacier and the two glaciers nearly join at 6,700 ft (2,000 m). Meltwater from the glacier drains into the Cowlitz River.List of glaciers in the United States
This is a list of glaciers existing in the United States, currently or in recent centuries. These glaciers are located in nine states, all in the Rocky Mountains or farther west. The southernmost named glacier among them is the Lilliput Glacier in Tulare County, east of the Central Valley of California.Paradise Glacier
Paradise Glacier is a glacier on the southeast flank of Mount Rainier in Washington. It covers 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) and contains 0.8 billion ft3 (23 million m3) with Stevens Glacier included. The glacier is bounded to the west by the Muir Snowfield, Anvil Rock and McClure Rock. There is a single extant main lobe of the glacier, ranging from 9,000 feet (2,700 m) to 7,200 feet (2,200 m), that is connected to the larger Cowlitz Glacier. To the south, there was a smaller portion which was near the Cowlitz Rocks and the tiny Williwakas Glacier, ranging from 6,900 feet (2,100 m) to 6,400 ft (2,000 m) in elevation and containing the Paradise Ice Caves until the 1990s. This smaller lobe melted between 2004 and 2006. Meltwater from the glacier drains into the Cowlitz River.