Taking a stage coach to Mount Rainier was a time consuming event at the turn on the 20th century.
“Captain H.M. Chittenden, the famed road builder of Yellowstone National Park, was horrified when he visited Mount Rainier. He wrote that the existing road below Longmire, “was without exception, the worst I have ever traveled over. It required four and one-half hours with a single-seated light rig and a good team to cover a distance of ten miles.”
“He urged that the Nisqually-Longmire section of road be given the highest priority. Standards for the road were that the roadbed was to be 18 feet wide with 3 feet on each side for ditches and a total width clearing of 30 feet. The first 10.5 mile section was projected to cost $65,000 to complete, with the Longmire to Camp of the Clouds segment to cost $250,000.
“In 1907, automobiles were allowed to enter the park and drive as far as Longmire Spring. During the year, 60 automobiles entered the park, as compared to 950 vehicles of other types (horse and wagon). (Per the Big Fact Book about Mount Rainier.)
Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.
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