Washington State is in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America and it's the only state named after a president. It was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory and admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. It is generally called Washington State to distinguish it from the country's capital, Washington DC.
Enjoying such attractions as Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountains and Lewis and Clark Trail it is a place made for lovers of nature. It has a prolific agricultural base, major ski areas, wineries, breweries and a thriving arts scene, so visitors flock there for many reasons. Only 25 percent of the hopeful 10,000 climbers who attempt to reach the summit of Mount Rainier each year are successful. They mostly come from Washington State, neighbouring Oregon and across the Canadian border, but it's also a lure for enthusiasts world-wide.
Mount Rainier National Park was established in 1899 and its 953 square kilometres include the 4392 metre stratovolcano, Mount Rainier. The episodically active volcano began to grow somewhere between one and one-and-a-half million years ago. The slopes of lava-flows on opposite sides of the mountain probably projected more than 300 metres above the present summit which currently measures around 4300 metres above sea level. The Indians called it Takhoma and had many legends about it.
The mountain rises suddenly from surrounding land with elevations in the park ranging from 490 metres to over 4300 metres. The Cascade Range, the highest point, is surrounded by valleys, waterfalls, sub-alpine wildflower meadows, old growth forests, spectacular alpine scenery and around 26 glaciers.
The volcano, which towers over the Seattle Tacoma area, is often shrouded in clouds full of enormous amounts of rain and snow.
Property owner Bill Compton has built a guesthouse and observatory at the top of his cedar trees. The earth-friendly mountain retreat is 16 kilometres from the Nisqually River entrance to the national park. Guests are treated to a treehouse bed and breakfast cottage 15 metres up in a 200-year-old western red cedar.
Its observatory and Stairway to Heaven gives spectacular mountain views 30 metres high in a fir tree. Reached by a rainbow-coloured bridge, Stairway to Heaven rises 24 metres from the forest floor. The spiral staircase provides safe access to the observatory. Its fourth floor is a glass-enclosed observation area for stargazing, cloud watching, bird-watching or just swinging in a hammock. Swimming and trout fishing can be enjoyed in your front yard.
Up to give people can be accommodated, with additional space on the observatory. There are also numerous camping spots.
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Mt Rainier National Park in Washington, US.
The Cedar Creek Treehouse is around $335 a double a night. It includes a one-hour guided tour of the Stairway to Heaven, Rainbow Bridge and Treehouse Observatory.
Mount Rainier National Park entry is $15 per car or $5 on foot.
Vroomvroomvroom.com has car hire in Seattle starting at around $29 a day.
Air New Zealand has flights to Los Angeles with connections to Seattle.
Valid for travel between November 01-December, 2007 and February 01-29, 2008. Subject to specific class availability.
For more information
Cedar Creek Treehouse
PO Box 204
Ashford WA 98304
Ph: 0011 1 360 569 2991
Mt Rainier National Park
Post Office Box 434,
Ashford, WA 98304
Ph: 0011 1 360 748 4514
Ph: 1300 722 920
Air New Zealand
Ph: 13 24 76