Your Guide to Camping at Mount Rainier

One of the best ways to experience the best of what Mount Rainier has to offer is to bring your tent or RV. Camping at Mount Rainier is affordable and you can camp inside or outside the park. Wilderness camping and climbing is also available some years. Here are the best campgrounds and parks to consider – and remember, get your reservations in early because spots get taken fast.

wonderland trail mount rainier Ohanapecosh

Located on the SE of the national park, this campground gives you fast access to old-growth forests and a river which is fed by the snow pack. You’ve got hiking trails to the Grove of the Patriarchs and to Silver Falls as well. Modern facilities are available, but there are no sites with electricity. Rates begin at $20 per night, with availability in May-September only.

Cougar Rock

Located in the SW portion of the national park, you’ll find this campground on the road between Longmire and Paradise. A Ranger Station and a day use picnic area are also associated with this campground. There are 5 loops of sites which accommodate tent campers or RVs, but no electrical hookups are available. Rates begin at $20 per night, with availability limited to May-September.

White River

This NE campground in the national park offers the most personal room for camping, offering fewer sites with more room per site. The Wonderland Trail comes through this campground and there is an easy loop trail available as well to bring you close to the river. The Glacier Basin Trail provides a trailhead from the campground as well, from where you can access the Emmons Moraine Trail or the Burroughs Mountain Trail. This campground is only open June-September and rates begin at $20 per night.

Mount Rainier Tours from Seattle

Mt Rainier Day Trip  Mt Rainier Day Tour  Small-Group Tour with Lunch Private Mt Rainier Day Tour

On this full-day tour of Washington state’s Mt Rainier, you’ll visit the majestic 14,411-foot (4,392-m) volcano and learn about the area from your informative guide. You’ll also explore local treasures like lakes and waterfalls en route from Seattle to Mt Rainier. Nature lovers won’t want to miss this!

Of all the mountains that surround Seattle, Mt Rainier stands the boldest. Appreciate the beauty of Mt Rainier on this full-day tour from Seattle. On clear days, you can see the mountain from downtown, but to grasp its full grandeur and magnificence, you must see it up close!

Admire close-up views of Mt Rainier’s snow capped peak, one of Seattle’s most iconic sights, on this full-day nature tour. See glaciers, waterfalls and wildlife in Mt Rainier National Park with a naturalist guide, and get a vivid sense of the mountain’s beauty while walking or snowshoeing.

On this private tour, take a scenic drive through the old-growth evergreen forests of America’s 5th-oldest national park, affording views of sparkling lakes, flower meadows and massive glaciers. Stop along the way to view wildlife and take photos and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy amidst the scenery.
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mowich-lake

Mowich Lake

This primitive campground offers walk-in camping sites only, with 3 group sites and 10 tent sites available. Self-registration occurs at the campground kiosk, but camping is free. There is no potable water available here and you’ll need to use a vault toilet, though the views are often said to be the best that Mount Rainier has to offer. Fires are not permitted, so you’ll need a camp stove. You can access the Wonderland Trail here as well. It’s first-come, first-served and open July-October.


Paradise

Winter camping is available in the national park at Paradise when there is enough snow to allow it. This means the camping season for this campground is generally December-April. You’re allowed to camp in the lower Deadhorse Creek Basin, behind the Paradise Inn, and near Guide House. Fees and camping conditions vary based on the weather, so plan ahead accordingly for this fun experience and follow all ranger instructions when you enter the park.

Mount Rainier Flowers and LakeWillows

Located in the Wenatchee National Forest, this campground puts you on the Eastern foothills with easy access to the national park from Highway 12. Just 16 sites are available, but reservations are permitted by calling 1 (877) 444-6777. It’s just $14 per night, though extra vehicles are $7 each. Potable water is available, but vault toilets must be used. The best sites will put you right on the Naches River.

Silver Springs

Located about 45 minutes east of Enumclaw, this 55-site campground is just a mile west of the national park entrance by White River. The camping sites are spaced within old-growth forest, with many having access to the river itself. On a clear day, you’ll also have a fantastic view of Mount Rainier. Remember to pay for your fishing license during salmon and trout season, as the river offers world-class fishing. Numerous trails that take you into the national park are easily accessible from this campground. Open from May-October with full amenities with rates varying from $20-$32 for camping to $50 for access to the group picnic area.

rainier-meadowsLa Wis Wis

Surrounded by red cedars and Douglas firs, this campground offers sites that are right along the Ohanapecosh River. You’ll also have access to the Clear Fork and Cowlitz Rivers while staying here. It’s usually open from June-Labor Day, with rates beginning at $20. A day use fee of $5 may also apply. A hiking trail to Purcell Falls begins at the campground if you get tired of fishing for trout or whitefish. It’s located right off of Highway 12 and usually has a few openings each night.


Sawmill Flat

Located right on the Naches River, you’ll have access to several trails that can take you through the foothills of the Cascades. Designated wilderness areas surround the park, giving you the chance to enjoy solitude. It’s a great place for mountain biking and hunting. Horseback riding contractors are also available May-September most years. You can also use this campground as a base for skiing and snowshoeing with trails that offer more than 8,000 feet of altitude variation. Standard tent-only sites and walk-up sites are available. Rates begin at $18.

rainier-winter-campingDog Lake

Lake camping is at its finest at this campground. It has limited access, with fewer than 10 sites and availability from June-September most years. Expect primitive camping conditions, with access to trails around the lake. Fishing is permitted. It’s not recommended for RVs as the interior campground roads offer limited spacing. Rates begin at just $8 per night.

Alder Lake

With boat ramps, a designated swimming area, and easy access to Elbe, this Tacoma Power owned campground offers one of the few camping experiences that includes electric hookups for Mount Rainier access. Nearly 200 sites are available and reservations are accepted up to 9 months in advance. The campground also has a first-come, first-served 20-slip moorage dock that is free to use. It’s also one of the few campgrounds that is open all year, though it does close for 2 weeks around Christmas.

Fees are $24 for tent sites, $33 for sites with electric and water, or $35 for water/electric/sewer. During the summer months, a $5 per vehicle fee is also charged. Reservations require a $10 deposit.

Camping at Mount Rainier is fun, affordable, and will allow you to experience nature in your preferred way. Summer camping fills up fast, so be sure to get your reservations in as early as possible so you get the camp site you want.