Mount Rainier’s Pacific Silver Fir Zone, also known as the Montane Zone, is found between 2,900 ft and 4,500 ft. Our favorite campground, White River campground, can be found here. It’s a beautiful area, lots of fir and pine trees.
It begins to cool down in this zone. There aren’t many large animals there for hikers and campers to see. But here’s a small list of what you will find there.
Black Bears roam across many areas of Mt. Rainier National Park, looking for inexperienced campers to scare… well, ok… they don’t really. And as I found out a few years ago, just because their fur is brown does not mean they are a grizzly coming to eat you!
They love to visit the Pacific Silver Fir Zone, especially in the late summer and early fall. Low growing huckleberry bushes flood the area with a nice red color, and draw the bears in for huckleberries. Remember, leave them alone and they should leave you alone. Do not give them food!
Northern Flying Squirrels float about in the Pacific Silver Fir Zone. These little guys only come out at night. They love to eat mushrooms, and they also eat nuts, insects, eggs and other small things. They like to store up lichens and seeds for when food is less abundant. Make sure to pack up your food and get rid of your garbage, otherwise you’ll have these midnight bandits raiding your campsite.
Often the flying rodents will share nests with others of their kind. It helps them to keep warm in the winter. Usually there’s only a few, but one nest was found to have over 50 of them crowding in! If you happen to be out in the park at night in May or June you’ll likely see them flying about looking for mates. Take one of these to help you find them in the dark.
There are lots of other animals in the park, and even in the Pacific Silver Fir Zone. Remember to leave nature as it is, don’t try to feed the wild animals and don’t get too close to them. It’s dangerous for them and for you!
If you’re planning a trip to Mt. Rainier National Park, you’ll want to check out some of the good deals from Whittaker Mountaineering at http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/pg/on_sale These guys know a lot about the park and about climbing Mt. Rainier. They can guide you to the best products to have for where you’ll be on the mountain, and for what you’ll be doing there.
Remember that as the snow starts to melt, the waterfalls swell with water and beauty. Go check them out in a couple months, and be careful that you don’t get swept away.
Praise God for this wonderland in the Pacific Northwest!!! He is so good to us!