Mount Rainier

Height of Mount Rainier To Be Remeasured

by Three Bears Lodge on July 8, 2010 Category: Did You Know?

Height of Mount Rainier

The official height of Mt. Rainier has stood at 14,411.1 feet since the first GPS measurement of the mountain in 1988. A second measurement in 1999 came within a half-inch of that number. Now geologists plan another trek to the top to measure the mountain again with a new generation of GPS devices.  These aren’t your standard handheld GPS devices, either; they’re specially designed for surveyors and construction companies to take extremely accurate measurements.

Here’s a few of the measured heights of the mountain over the years, and the methods used prior to GPS technology:

Height: 12,330 feet
Measured By:
Lt. Charles Wilkes
Visual estimate / Triangulation

Height: 14,440 feet
Year: 1856
Measured By: U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey
Method: Triangulation

Height: 14,528 feet
Measured By: Edgar McClure
Method: Mercury Barometer

Height: 14,408 feet
Year: 1914
Measured By: U.S. Geological Survey
Method: Plane Table and Alidade

Height: 14,410 feet
Year: 1956
Measured By: USGS
Method: Triangulation with Simultaneous Reciprocal Angles

Height: 14,411.1 feet
Year: 1988
Measured By: Larry Signani & Land Surveyors’ Association of Washington
Method: GPS Device

Height: 14,411.05 feet
Year: 1999
Measured By: Land Surveyors’ Association of Washington
Method: GPS Device

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