I loved this place. The drive up was rough, steep, and slick. I would never attempt with a trailer or even cab over camper. We took the tent and my Subaru Crosstrek up, took it slow and did just fine.
There were a lot of large downed trees being cut by the forest service scattered everywhere. Two loops of campsites, roughly 20 in all. Two very rustic pits and one typical vault toilet near the Rainier View Trail trailhead that departs from the parking lot at the beginning of the campground. No water, power, trash, tables, metal fire rings, or really people up here.
Total, almost creepy seclusion. We saw no animals either. A couple multi day trip backpackers came passing through.
Unfortunately, the large Norse Peak wildfire swept through in 2017. This road is permanently closed. I hear you can park and walk the roughly 6 miles up past the gate to the former campground. Not much left up there for camping. Maybe the Forest Service will reopen it someday? If so, it's worth the drive for the peace and quiet or to do what you do with a group and not be disturbed.
My family stayed here for a night when we went out to Washington a few months ago. It was a nice little place. Mostly we stayed here because of how close it was to seattle, so we were't at the campground very much. It does have a pretty good amount of sites. It's got showers and bathrooms which is always nice at a campground. It does have a lot of activities because of how close it is to the water. We saw people fishing, diving, sailing, etc. The only thing I didn't like about it was that building wood fires isn't allowed in the campground.
The seattle area has all kinds of things to do. My family went to Pike Place Market which was awesome to see. We saw a Mariners game, the space needle, and went on some awesome hikes around the area.
Overall the campground was a pretty nice place to stay, especially if you are trying to visit the seattle area for a couple of nights. Great place!
Mowich Lake is a decent sized campground at the base of Mt Rainier. We stayed here the night before the Rainier to Ruston run. The sites were your standard, with a picnic table, fire ring, and plenty of trees for shade and cover. There are lots of things to do in the area. We like to fish in the tributaries that are smaller for kids. An excursion up to Crystal Mountain to see the peak and enjoy the view is a must! The littles love riding the gondola up the mountain. The lake attracts a lot of mosquitoes so be sure to bring ALOT of bug spray and garlic. Invest in a screen tent to cover the picnic table. The lake is beautiful!!! During the summer, the water is crystal clear and incredibly inviting. The entrance to the campground requires you to dive on an unpaved road with lots of potholes.
I had the opportunity to review the Aftershokz Air headphones. These headphones are absolutely a must for any parent who runs with their littles, as you can still hear some of the louder noises around you.
-Bone conduction tech, allows you to enjoy out of ear listening.
-Slim fit with placers
-Microphone for easy call communication
-I have a small head, so these do not fit me as well as they fit my husband
-You cannot chew gum, as the movement causes the headphones to shift
I absolutely love these headphones and now own both the air and Titanium Mini. As a female who enjoys running alone through both city and trails, the fact that I have the option to not have my hearing impacted eases my mind for my own safety. I will tout the benefits of these far and wide.
The campground is well maintained. There are lots of RV sites. The group sites are amazing, they have individual and large group fire pits. The bathrooms have been remodeled and are very clean. There is a nice park with a dedicated swim area, ticks for boats. The lake is crystal clear.
It has always been really clean. Everyone packs thier garbage out and i always see people picking up anything that was left behind.
It's been our favorite campground for years, but recently last year, the park removed all the flushing toilets, and replaced with vaulted toilets!
- Close to Seattle about 1.5 hr - 2 hrs away depending on traffic.
- It has numbers of walk-in sites with great access to the lake.
- Lots of loop for kids to ride bike and explore.
- Great access to many hiking trail near by like Pacific Crest Trail(PCT) can be accessed near the campground and Racheal Lake trail head is only 15 mins drive away.
- Great for kayak, canoe, paddle board, or just chill and swim in the lake.
- Friendly rangers and comp hosts.
- Campground is always clean.
- Most campsites have great privacy, you are not right on top of your neighbor.
- Most loops within a walking distance to lake access except Beargrass loop.
- Hardly cell phone service is a plus for us, unless you are at the beach or boat launches.
- Vaulted toilets … (we don't mind vaulted toilets, but it used to have flushing toilets until 2017).
- Very busy, hard to make get a reservation. Most walk-in campsites will be filled up by Friday morning.
- In 2018, camp hosts no longer sell firewood (not sure if this still the case). We used to be able to get firewoods on the way in, but the last 2 times we went there this year, no one is selling firewood outside of the campground either. We had to drive to Easton to get firewood.
- Dogs are not allow at the main beach (most campgrounds now have this rules but there aren't many off to the side area where dogs can hang out and you can watch your kids at the same time). Although some camp hosts do not enforce this rule, until the beach gets really busy.
We had a lovely two day stay here in this very nice park. They are in the process of upgrading the rest rooms so the shower facilities were really in demand by the campers. Very few full hookup sites. The biggest negative was the plane noise. The park is located south of Sea-Tac Airport and directly in the flightpath. Constant flyovers.
It’s a gorgeous park next to Pugent Sound. Fairly safe since it’s gated and a park ranger was there overnight. From my experience it was quiet and after a while the air traffic from the airport becomes tolerable.
However you must make reservations online on the website a few weeks before you plan to come
Bring cash and a card for stay overnight. Card for kiosk and cash for firewood.
Nice campground view of mountain from some campsites.
Also has wash basins at the flush toilets sites for washing dishes. Has recycle bins as well.
Not far from paradise.
Parking at Apental, backing up took about 2 hours but was worth the beautiful views. Water was cold but in 85 degree weather was worth taking a dip. Lots of big boulders to cross on the way up. Definitley carried our short leg dog the majority of the trip.
This campground is located on the small side of the lake where there is a lot of nice views and places to swim. I loved all the trails and walking paths to travel down. My only complaints would be that there is limited sandy parts to swim and that we could hear people speeding around and yelling out on their motor boats up until 2am.
Great spot not too far from thr city of Maple Valley. The showers and bathrooms and nice and updated. The river has some great trails to walk on and nice swimming spots! I definitley suggest venturing around the river to find other places to swim than the main one which can get crowded with multiple families.
It's not so much a campground as a hotel with camping spots for RVs only but very clean.
Cougar Rock is a large campground (and the one closest to Paradise) with over 170 sites in six loops. Note that the maximum allowable length for motorhomes is 35 feet and 27 feet for trailers and 5th wheels. Loops A and E have some sites that are right on the road. Some sites are pull-through and most are spacious with varying amounts of privacy between them. Each site has a fire ring, picnic table, and a bear box. C1 felt very private, even though it was the first site in the C loop. You can hear the Nisqually River lull you to sleep. Don’t forget to bring your towel to the bathroom as there are no paper towels or air dryers in the bathrooms. The bathroom was reasonably clean but as with all NPS campgrounds, there are no showers. Cougar Rock was a very quiet campground on a Monday in mid-June, even though there were a fair amount of people camping. The campground opened in May; the sites are reservable June 21-September 3 only. If you haven’t reserved a site (and therefore pre-paid), there is a machine that accepts coins and credit cards (but not bills that I could see!) to pay for your campsite. The Wonderland trail is accessible from the campground, but you would have to drive to other trailheads. We are told you can get a great view of Mt. Rainier just across the street on the trail, but we will have to take the ranger’s word on it as the clouds completely obscured the view! No cell service.
Great place lots of fun but it is not a campground… It's a summer camp for teenagers. I myself went there as a teenager.