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Camping in Mount Rainier

Sleep at the foot of the Lower 48’s most heavily glaciated peak.

Outdoor stays for every style

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You’ll know Mount Rainier National Park when you see it—the hulking volcano rises more than 14,000 feet above sea level, dominating the western Washington horizon for miles around. Glaciers cascade down the slopes, meeting deep green forests. The best part? This Northwest’s crown jewel sits just 65 miles from Seattle, making its summit the goal of many mountaineers and its location perfect for an easy weekend trip. Here you’ll find 473 camping sites scattered across three of the four quadrants of the park, including Cougar Rock in the southwest, Ohanapecosh in the southeast, and White River, in the northeast. In addition, 13 tent sites sit at the walk-in Mowich Lake campground to the northwest. Beyond that, numerous backcountry sites are scattered on and around the mountain.

Notable Campgrounds

  • Best for a wilderness experience: Mowich Lake
  • Best for old growth trees: Ohanapecosh
  • Best for groups: Cougar Rock

Tips for Snagging a Campsite Reservation

  1. Though RVs are allowed to park at Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, and White River campgrounds, they have no electrical, water, or grey water hookups.
  2. Each campsite is limited to a maximum of two vehicles, two tents, and/or six campers. Most campsites are big enough for only one tent and up to four people.
  3. Campsites at Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, and White River campgrounds can all be booked in advance online, with availability opening on a six-month rolling basis. The sites at Mowich Lake are available only on a first-come, first-served basis

When to Go

Mount Rainier National Park is open year-round, though heavy winter snow typically closes all but the Nisqually Entrance. At this time, roads at higher elevations may be closed or require snow chains or winter tires to access. July and August are busy times, when popular parking lots and entrances come with long waits. Aim for a mid-week visit, or go during the late spring or early fall to beat the crowds.

Know Before You Go

  • The visitor center at the Longmire Museum is open year-round, while the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise closes on winter weekdays. The Ohanapecosh Visitor Center and Sunrise Visitor Center are open in summer.
  • When making a summer visit, try to arrive early (before 10am) or later in the day (after 2:30pm) to avoid peak crowds and wait times.
  • Concessions are sold at Longmire, Paradise, and Sunrise. You can also stock up in the nearby towns of Ashford and Packwood.
  • Cell service is unreliable in Mount Rainier National Park, but there is wifi in the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise. 

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