How To Get To Mount Rainier National Park
There are four main entrances accessible by vehicle that you can use to enter Mount Rainier National Park. There are multiple major cities located within 200 miles of Mount Rainier National Park. You can use multiple ways to get to Mount Rainier National Park. If you want to use the Southwest Entrance by car, here are the directions:
East Entrance by car From Seattle: drive South on I-5 to I-405 at Exit 154a. from there drive East on I-405 to SR 167 and then take South to SR410 where you will find White River Entrance. From there you can continue South on SR 410 to SR 123 past Stevens Canyon Road to Ohanapecosh. From Tacoma: drive east on SR 512 to SR 167 and turn north to SR 410 and then head east while on SR 410 to the White River Entrance and Sunrise.
From Seattle: Drive South on I-5 to SR 512 and exit at 127. From SR 512 drive East to SR 7 and then drive South on SR 7 to SR 706 in Elbe. From here drive East on SR 706 through Ashford where you will find the Nisqually Entrance. From Tacoma: Drive East on SR 512 to Sr 7 and then turn South from SR 7 to SR 706 in Elbe. Once you are in SR 706, drive East through Ashford where you will find Nisqually Entrance.
From Yakima: in Summer Drive West on US 12 to SR 123 and then turn North while on SR 123 to the Stevens Canyon Entrance. In Winter Drive on US 12 to SR 7in Morton. While still on SR 7, drive North to Elbe. From there drive East on SR 706 through Ashford where the Nisqually Entrance is located.
Washington State National Parks
Perhaps the best way to explore the great outdoors inWashington State is to connect all three national parks into a single Washingtonnational parks road trip.
Naturally, the possibilities are endless for such a trip.Many people spend just a week connecting Olympic, North Cascades, and MountRainier National Parks while others spend a week in each.
In addition to camping in each national park, many visitors branch out on side trips and explore other outdoor areas in Washington, including the best hikes in Seattle.
Hiking & Backpacking In Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is home to some of the absolutebest hiking in Washington.
Trails range from just one mile to multi-night backpackingtrips. You can find hikes for all skill levels, ranging from family friendly toseriously strenuous. WashingtonTrail Association is an excellent resource for finding hikesin Mount Rainier and the rest of Washington State.
Here are some of the best Mount Rainier hikes for all skilllevels.
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Rv Sites Near Mt Rainier National Park
Looking for a more outdoor kind of Mt Rainier Lodging? Located at the perimeter of the resort, our RV spaces are shaded by large cedar trees and back up to a beautiful forest or a mountain creek. Full hookup RV sites have 30 amp electric service, as well as water and sewer connections. All sites are a short distance from laundry and restrooms with showers. Each space also features a picnic table and firepit. Well behaved pets are welcome for an additional charge.
Boondockers Choices For Mount Rainier National Park Boondocking 21 Miles: Bumping River Road
Address Elevation: 3570â²
Management â The road in is Gravel.
Thereâs numerous free national forest dispersed camping sites along Bumping River Road . Some are on the way down to Bumping lake, and some are just past of the lake. Most of them are right off the road, but the ones past Bumping Lake are off a gravel road. No services or potable water but there are established fire rings and most are right by the river.
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Camping For Pacific Crest Trail Hikers
Roughly 18.5 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail passes throughMount Rainier National Park.
This portion of the 2,653-mile PCT starts near LaughingwaterCreek and continues to Chinook Pass.
The National Park Service doesnât allow camping along theportion of the PCT that passes through Mount Rainier.
Because backcountry camping is also allowed in the borderingnational forest land, most thru-hikers simply complete the Mount Rainierportion of the hike in a single day.
Mt Rainier Outdoor Event Venue
Are you dreaming of a rustic forest wedding? Mounthaven Resort offers a large grassy area surrounded by towering trees and bordered by creeks which make for a lovely ceremony venue. Our Resort near Mount Rainier is also ideal for family reunions and group retreats. 9 cabins and 16 RV sites ensure plenty of Mt. Rainier Lodging for overnight guests. Learn more about hosting your next special event at Mounthaven.
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Reasons To Stay At A Koa Campground In Washington State
Washington state, with its picturesque terrain, was made for a camping adventure. And for the best campgrounds, no place can beat KOA. When you make your RV, tent, cabin or other campingreservations with KOA, it all starts with an incredible staff that keeps customer service at the forefront of all they do, ensuring you have the best possible experience. You’ll find that combined with a range of convenient amenities, including things like laundry facilities, KOA stores for last-minute items, clean bathrooms complete with hot water and so much more.
Heading out with the kids? Rest assured theyll have plenty to keep them busy. You’ll find a range of activities for the whole family thatll round out a perfect vacation. Many campgrounds offer great features such as basketball courts, mini golf, climbing walls and paddle boats. KOA has the best family campgrounds in Washington, with more fun than everyone can handle.
Mt Rainier Camping And Hiking Guide
by Diana Chen | Jul 24, 2019
This post may contain affiliate links, which help us generate revenue so that we can keep producing awesome content for you. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for using our links and giving us the opportunity to share a sliver of this great big world with you.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Go RVing. All opinions are 100% mine.
Taking an RV trip was something I had always talked about doing, but never actually took steps to do it. That is until I attended the RVX trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah a few months ago. I was surprised to learn about the many different types of RVs and how RVing can fit into any lifestyle. Attending RVX inspired me to finally take my first RV trip this summer to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. Here is my Mt. Rainier camping and hiking guide for 3-4 days in the park, and why why an RV is the best companion for Go RVings Kickoff to Camping Season.
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Food Storage And Wildlife Safety
Mount Rainier National Park is home to black bears andmountain lions.
Although few visitors see them, itâs important to always use caution around these animals and to never approach them.
One of the most important things you can do to avoidencounters is to practice properwilderness food storage when camping and backpacking.
Just because these two large mammals are the most dangerous in the park, doesnât mean that other animals arenât dangerous as well. Itâs important to respect all wildlife and to view all animals from a safe distance.
Bear poles are provided at all backcountry campsites to hangyour food. The National Park Service strongly recommends using a bear-proof canisterwhile backpacking.
Mt Rainier Rv Camping
Should roughing it with no access to electric, sewage or a cable TV hookup not be your idea of a glampers weekend on the mountain, there are a few additional options for those in search of full-hookups.
In the slow town of Packwood, Washingtonthe biggest town realistically near the parkPackwood RV Park gives you sewage, 30amp hookups, freshwater, warm showers and even access to a washer and dryer. A local bar, pizza joint and decent grocery store, as well as a library, coffee shop and mechanic, make Packwood a nice slice of civilization to call basecamp if youre exploring this region for some time. Note though, that outside of US Cellular, theres no cell service even in town.
Near the western entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, on your approach to Longmire and Paradise, a small, wooded campground by the name of Mounthaven Resort puts you only minutes outside of the park and a realistic drive to some smaller towns with basic conveniences.
About the Author: Nathan has a particular affinity for the Pacific Northwests mysteriously ancient foliage and eruptive towering nature, especially when it comes to camping in national forests therein.
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Boondockers Welcome In Mount Rainier National Park Boondocking Locations 35 Miles: Orr Creek Sno
Address National Forest Development Road 5603 Randle, Washington Elevation: 2913â²
Management: Public â State Park
This is a free dispersed camping site. This campsite does not use a reservation system. First come, first served. Good spot, great sun vault toilet. Elk pass through from time to time, have even seen them under my awning!
Mount Rainier National Park Layout
Mount Rainier National Park has a fairly straightforwardlayout.
To see the entirety of the park, you must make sizable detoursoutside of the park to connect all of the roadways together.
Fortunately, only a small sliver in the northwest corner ofthe park near the Carbon River is separate from the rest of Mount Rainierâsroads.
The rest of the park, including the southwestern, southeastern, and northeastern sections, can be seen on a sort of half loop that attaches popular areas such as Longmire, Paradise, and Sunrise together.
This section of the park is far more frequently visited thanthe northwest corner. Itâs also home to the best camping in Mount RainierNational Park.
Visit these areas by entering Mount Rainier through the southwestNisqually Entrance on SR 706, the southeastStevens Canyon Entrance on US Highway 12 , orthe northeastWhite River/Sunrise Entrance just off SR 410 .
The southeast Nisqually Entrance is the only Mount Rainier National Park entrance thatâs open year-round. Itâs easily accessible from major nearby cities including Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Yakima.
The least popular entrance, the northwestCarbon River Entrance, is accessed via SR 165 through the town ofWilkeson.
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Boondockers Choices For Mount Rainier National Park Boondocking 10 Miles: Mt Rainier National Forest Road
Address Elevation: 2064â²
Management â Public â Forest Service
Mt Rainier national forest road is open spring-fall. You may stay 14 days at Mt Rainier national forest road. Multiple campsites along the north side of the road. Some have improvised fire rings. We were directed to this place by a ranger in Mount Rainier National Park. CLOSED DURING WINTER Plenty of dispersed camping spots along skate road before this one, only go to these coordinates if youâre in a car with normal clearance, donât attempt on an RV. Great private spot along the river though and about 25 minutes to Mount Rainier national park! I went into the National Park each day I was here â drive in early unless you want to spend an hour in traffic!
Management â Public â Forest Service
The road in is Gravel. The maximum RV length at Carbon River is 30â². This is one of our favorite dispersed camping places, as it is pretty close to home. Campsites are outside the ranger station. If you want a good site you have to come early in the day, early in the weekend. The view is beautiful and this is a good place if you donât want to have to worry about being too loud. It is right on the Carbon River so it may be flooded some times of the year. There are hiking trails nearby and a lake up the road a bit.
Camping In The Summer
Summer is the best time to go camping in Mount RainierNational Park.
In fact, the main Mount Rainier campgrounds are only openfrom roughly late spring to early fall.
Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh are open from late May to lateSeptember, White River is open from late June to late September, and MowichLake is open from early July to early October.
Of course, the exact dates that these campgrounds open and close depend largely on the weather and road conditions.
Because the summer is the busiest season for camping in Mount Rainier, itâs advisable to make reservations well in advance.
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Camping Outside The Park
The National Forests and private campgrounds around Mount Rainier National Park provide a variety of camping and recreation opportunities. Campgrounds are located along highways 12 and 410 in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Gifford Pinchot, and Wenatchee National Forests. National Forest Campgrounds generally operate Memorial Day through Labor Day with a few remaining open through September. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1 444-6777 .
Several privately owned public campgrounds are open year round. Most offer full hook-ups, with showers. Private campgrounds can be found in and around Packwood, Randle, Mineral Lake, Morton, Ashford and at Crystal Mountain.
Taking along your four-legged family members? These campgrounds will welcome your traveling pets.
Circle Mount Rainier National Park Loop
If you have the time, there are few better ways to see MountRainier than to circlethe entire mountain.
Although many visitors simply see the southwestern region ofthe park, itâs more than worth it to continue the drive to the southeast beforeheading up to the northeast.
Here is where it gets tricky. To see the entire nationalpark, you must then leave the park before entering it again to see thenorthwest corner. Many visitors camp at all three Mount Rainier National Parkcampgrounds during their trip.
Research the mostpopular Mount Rainier driving tours to decide on the scenic loopthat best suits your preferences.
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Boondockers Choices For Mount Rainier National Park Boondocking 16 Miles: Fire Service Roads Outside Greenwater
Address Elevation: 2264â²
Management â Public â Forest Service
The road in is Dirt and 1 mile miles from a paved road. There are 30 or more dispersed camping sites at this location. You may stay 14 days at fire service roads outside Greenwater. Take 410 east from 167 south and you will find the dalles just past the town of Greenwater. Continue past the dalles and take fire service roads 72 or 73. Many free dispersed camping sites close to the river. Locations for hiking and fishing, enjoying scenery and spotting wildlife. One location I heard up there has an an accessible spot for swimming.
Management â Public â Rest Area
The road in is Paved. Bevin Lake Rest Area is open year round. The maximum RV length at Bevin Lake Rest Area is unlimited. You may stay 8 hours at Bevin Lake Rest Area. Off Rt. 12, about 15 miles outside of Randle. Not much in the area. Signs say, âplease limit your stay to 8 hoursâ and there is plenty of RV parking for any size rig. Rt 12 did not have a lot of truck traffic, so it was pretty quiet. Best of all, it was pretty flat, which can be rare at rest areas. Nice shaded picnic area with tables. It was my favorite rest ever.
Mt Rainier Vacation Cabins
Looking for a more private vacation? Mounthaven Resort offers 3 beautiful vacation rentals just moments from Mt Rainier. Our fully outfitted vacation homes feature full kitchens, private hot tubs, fireplaces, and more than enough room and privacy for a relaxing vacation. Our vacation rentals can accommodate groups ranging from 2-10 people and several of our properties are pet friendly.
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Why Visit Mount Rainier National Park In Your Rv
With the interesting geological history out of the way, we have to say its absolutely worth visiting. Going to Mount Rainier, especially during the summer season, is the perfect trip for RVers.
Who can turn down the opportunity to explore rainforests, hike across flower-filled meadows and stand in awe at the sight of the volcano hovering over the entire scene?
With three campgrounds from which to choose, this location begs the question, Why not? Its one of the most unique national parks in the country and its ready for you to visit it.
Other Mount Rainier National Park Campgrounds
Camping in Mount Rainer National Park doesnât have to belimited to the three bustling car campgrounds.
A smaller and more peaceful option is to camp at MowichLake, the single designated walk-in campground in the park. Mount Rainier alsooffers a wide variety of wilderness camping at designated backcountrycampsites. Those climbing the mountain also have the option to stay overnightin an alpine camping zone.
Here are the best additional campgrounds in Mount RainierNational Park.
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Best Camping Near Mount Rainier
- Mowich Lake Campground: 21 tent/walk-in sites, no reservations.
- Ipsut Creek Campground: 31 car/tent sites, no reservations, CURRENTLY CLOSED TO VEHICLES.
- White River Campground: 108 car/tent sites, no reservations.
- Cougar Rock Campground: 186 car/tent sites, 5 group sites, reservations allowed.
- Ohanapecosh Campground: 185 car/tent sites, 2 group sites, 8 walk-in sites, reservations allowed.
- Sunrise Camp: 7 tent/walk-in sites 1.3 miles by trail west of the Sunrise Visitor Center in the heart of Yakima Park.
Note that only Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Campgrounds permit RVs and trailers, but neither provide electrical, water, or sewer hook-ups. Dump stations are provided at both, however.
If you’re finding it difficult to secure a reservation within the national park, there are a number of great overflow campgrounds just outside of the park boundary:
There are, of course, a number of backcountry sites throughout the park for those looking for a different type of adventure. Backcountry Camping Permits are required and should be reserved and purchased well in advance of your trip. However, 30% of all campsite permits are kept aside for same-day purchase. No matter where you camp, always remember to leave the area better than you found it .
Once you have your camp spot, it’s time to adventure! To get you started, here’s our list of our favorite day hikes on Mount Rainier.