Southeast slopes of Mount Rainier as viewed from Cowlitz Park. Photo taken over benchmark at the 7,819 feet elevation, on the Whitman Crest Ridge south of the Ohanapecosh Glaciers. The Cowlitz-Ingraham Glacier is visible in the center, Little Tahoma Peak rises on the right, and Mount Rainier's highpoint - Columbia Crest (14,410 feet) - rises above. Gibralter Rock is prominent in the upper middle with triangular-shaped Anvil Rock just below. Between these two lies Camp Muir.
An eruption of Mount Rainier would probably begin with small steam blasts located at the summit, but could escalate in size and intensity, perhaps leading to a release of new magma (hot, molten rock). Depending on the amount of magma released, the eruptions could have relatively minor effect on the surrounding area or could produce large, destructive floods and debris flows, affecting areas far from the volcano. The shaking by earthquakes or explosions will also dislodge masses of unstable rock; the resulting rockslides could damage Park facilities. Particularly large landslides could also create destructive, far-traveling debris flows.
Camp Muir was named after writer/naturalist John Muir - who was among a climbing party which made the sixth recorded ascent of Mount Rainier in 1888. The first stone hut was built at Camp Muir in 1916.