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Sunrise Historic District

Sunrise Point is on Sunrise Ridge to the east of Sunrise Park in the northeast region of Mount Rainier National Park. It is perhaps the most spectacular viewpoint reached by the highway. Among the points visible are Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker, Mt. Stuart, Glacier Peak, and three glaciers on Mount Rainier. It was named for Sunrise Ridge.

A 3-mile-long park, on a plateau. This is a high, grassy mountain meadow was once called Yakima Park, because tribal members of the Yakama Nation used the it long ago for berry-picking and horse racing. The name was changed without tribal consultation because some officials considered that it was being confused with the city of Yakima. The Native American name was Me-yah-ah-pah, meaning place of the chief for Chief Owhi of the Yakamas, who often camped there during the summer months.


Ca. 1932 view of Mt. Rainier along the road to Sunrise.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

1919 view of the White River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.

Photo by Asahel Curtis. Source: Washington State Historical Society

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Sunrise Historic District

The collection of seven buildings represents the first comprehensive facility planning effort in Mount Rainier National Park. It was a joint project of the National Park Service Landscape Division and the Rainier National Park Company – the private concessionaire here from 1916-1971. Great care was taken during planning and construction to protect the fragile ecosystem of the area. The unified rustic design of the district features battered stone walls, and timber and log frame buildings of similar scale. The design is inspired by the blockhouses of the Washington territory. The lodge was built in 1931 at only a quarter of its originally-planned size. Other structures date from 1930-1944. Tourist cabins built by the concessionaire were removed ruing World War II.

Yakima Park Stockade

The “stockade” is a collection of three buildings and a vertical log fence which originally served as the administration and interpretive center for the Yakima Park region. The south blockhouse was built in 1930. The visitor’s center and north blockhouse were completed between 1939 and 1943. The visitor’s center was originally a “camper’s shelter” and later a museum. All the structures were designed and built in the “Exaggerated Rustic” style with stone foundations and wood and log frames.