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Mount Rainier National Park, WASHINGTON
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Camping Washington Mount Rainier National Park
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Most Recent Mount Rainier National Park Camping Reviews
Great option by mount rainier

This was a stellar campground that was cheap ($14) and super close to mount rainier NP. I camped on a weekday and was literally the only person in the entire campground

Total seclusion, not around anymore

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.

Neat little place

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!

We love this place!

I’ll start with my favorite part, NO CELL SERVICE 👍 This place is totally free. There are 2 bathrooms. One ☝️ in the lower campground ⛺️ & one ☝️ in the upper. There are many trails which are fantastic for hiking 🥾 biking 🚵‍♀️ dirt bike 🏍 riding & quad riding. You’ll love 💕 the views from the old upper logging roads. Mt. Adams is in view from many trails and roads and simply gorgeous at sun set. If you fill your gas ⛽️ tank before you head to camp take the time to explore and you will find beautiful lakes, other campgrounds & cabin structures. There are many pieces of wood debris that are great to clean out of your camp area. We burned them in our campfire 🔥 and left our spot much nicer than when we came. You can google directions.

Great campground!

Great campground. Tons of great hiking, swimming, and fun around. There’s a little store not too far for beer and snacks, and jet ski rentals across from the store. Toilets were clean and it wasn’t too noisy, thanks to camp hosts. The campground doesn’t offer a lot of privacy between most sites, and there is noise from the road, but if you can handle that, it’s a great place to camp! Nice trail next to site 1 takes you to the creek and then to the lake.

Ranger Review of AfterShokz Air at Mowich Lake Campground

Campground Review:

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. 

Ranger Review:

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. 

Pros:

-Bone conduction tech, allows you to enjoy out of ear listening. 

-Slim fit with placers 

-Microphone for easy call communication

Cons:

-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.

Beautiful setting

What could be better than camping next to a river on the side of a snow capped volcano

Very pretty place

This place is fantastic for motorcycle & quad riders as there is riding for many, many miles w/ amazing sites to see. You’ll want to go when the weather is summer though or else you’ll run into deep snow. Blue Lake is crystal clear and much deeper than it would appear. It’s a 9-10 mile ride from camp. Great natural jumps and bumps. Lotta fun for all riders a little above new beginners though. GREAT RIDING!!!

First to Review
Breathless 360° Views

Mt. Saint Helens has become a 4th of July tradition. In 2019, we hiked the Boundary Trail #1 to the Mount Margaret Wilderness overlooking the Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. We set out to camp at Dome Camp in between Coldwater Peak and Mount Margaret. Permits are required and limited to 4 per night. At the time, they cost $6ea.

Upon our arrival after a ginger 6 hour hike in, we were greeted with expansive views in all directions. There are 2 campsites, one low in the saddle and one up top, with a latrine in between the two. We chose the higher ground one to have an incredible view of Mount St. Helens to the South, The Dome to the East, and Mount Whittier to the NE. The site is nearly perfectly flat with soft sand gravel mix. There wasn't any debris to clear and plenty of room for 2 two person tents. We staked down the tents as it tends to get a bit windy, but guests never got above 10mph. No camp fires, ever!

We arrived around 2pm, just enough time to settle in, set up, eat and then enjoy the landscape's shifting shadows as Sun lowered toward the horizon behind us. The mountains glowed in the summer evening sun as the clouds sunk lower and lower, down into the valleys below us.

Low cloud fronts built strength at the Whittier Ridge and slowly crept over and down into the valley. The fog rolled up over us and The Dome, creating rivers of clouds flowing down into Spirit Lake and the valley. The clouds came in waves drastically changing the environment every 30mins, giving us something new to see everytime.

In the morning, there was a herd of mountain goats along the ridge to the south west looking down over us, playfully dancing along the steep walls. Woodpeckers and coyotes could be heard in the distance truly expanding the environment.

Beautiful Clear lake

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.

Great campground for smaller RV's

Great remote campground for smaller RV's. No hookups or water. We went in the beginning of the week and were alone most of the time.

I've been going here sense i was kid. It was my dads favorite place to go to relax and cool off after a long day at work during the summer

It has always been really clean. Everyone packs thier garbage out and i always see people picking up anything that was left behind.

Awsome cabin

No water, just electricity. Outhouse needed cleaned out. And the entrance getting into the driveway is a little scary, big hole in the middle stay to the side. Other than that had a great time

Our favorite spots, great sites, easy access to the lake

It's been our favorite campground for years, but recently last year, the park removed all the flushing toilets, and replaced with vaulted toilets! 

Pros

- 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. 

Cons

- 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.

Nice Campground - Airplanes

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.

On a mission

We’re looking to expand our camping options and checked out Cowlitz Falls Campground. With a 31’ 5th wheel the camp sites were big enough, easy to get in, clean and offered privacy. There is a great mix of sites with trees, open spaces and in between. We’ll be back!

Great Spot for a Night Passing Through

We stayed here one night while passing through. It is in a great location near Mt Rainier for a fraction of the price of closer campgrounds. It was very small, but very lush between sites which made it extremely private. Some spots are right on the river, but don't expect to lounge by it in your chair. There is only a short narrow opening and the riverbank is lush and rocky. We picked the spot at the very end on the roundabout (can't remember the number) and it was extremely private. Was very nice to hear the river throughout the night! Recommend for a night or two, but a bit cramped for anything more. Halfway-roughing it camping. There is a pit toilet, main shared water spigot, and dumpsters.

Closest state park to city of Seattle

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

Slice of paradise not far from paradise

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.

Noisy freeway, Small site, strict but very clean campground

The campground is very clean and well maintained. I felt like I was in the city. The campsites are small and cramped together, typical state park I guess. There’s playground by the lake and boat launch, but you have to either ride a bike or drive there, there’s no actual trail connect from camp loop to the play area. The ranger was very strict and came around often to Check on dogs, tent on tent pad. The site we got was not near freeway but it was still noisy. Keep in mind, we like camping where we can stretch out and not have to worry about the neighbors.

Great place

Great for those with base access. The tent camp sites were private enough and the laundry and running water/showers were a huge plus!

Not a campground

The beach house is exactly what it says, a beach house bed and breakfast. Beautiful place though just not for camping. I work out that way so I swung by to check it out for a new camping spot and learned of this.

Ranger Review: Grubstick Master Kit at Upper Bumping Lake Campground

Campground Review:

Bumping Lake is a beautiful area of the Cascade Mountains and the campground itself is pretty large.  There are two sections, Upper and Lower.  When I was looking online researching which part of the campground I wanted to reserve, I could not figure out what was on the water or what was closest.  I got so lucky with site 43!!!  Site 43, 44, and 45 are in a separate little loop in the Upper Campground right on the lake.  From the number of reserved signs after ours, I would say the secret is out.  3,5,7,8,9, and 10 are also technically on the lake, but they are quite a bit above the shore.  You can get a peek of the lake, but you have a little walk through the woods to get down to the water.   The Upper Campground has no hook ups, vault toilets, water spigots throughout.  The sites were nicely spaced and wooded.  The Lower Campground is not on Bumping Lake and seems to be set a bit more for RV camping with pull through sites, mostly paved pads, and a bit closer together than the Upper.  Same as Upper, no hook ups and vault toilets.

The campground is clean and well maintained by the folks at Hoodoo Recreation.  They checked the vault toilets several times per day and also have fire wood for sale at their host site.  The campground also has a really nice Day Use / Picnic area and Boat Launch. It was still chilly in mid June and there were plenty of open sites.  I would imagine this is a very popular campground in the summer.  We reserved through recreation.gov but hoodoorecreation.com will do the job as well.

Bumping Lake Marina is not part of the campground but is on the other side of the lake just down the road.  There is a little store with firewood, snacks, non alcoholic drinks, and fishing tackle.  You can also rent a little boat from them if you would like fish the lake.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, occasionally I get to test products.  This trip I got to play with The Master Kit from Grubstick: https://grubstick.com/products/master-kit .  It arrived in a nice nylon storage bag.  My immediate thought was this would be a really nice gift!  Maybe a wedding present for a couple who loves to camp!  I took everything out, washed it, and planned my meals.  We made bacon cups with cheesy scrambled eggs and pico, burgers and veggies in the cages, hotdogs (of course!) and crescent roll tubes as buns.  We did not make s'mores even though we brought the ingredients.  However, we did make the S'Maffle that I found on their website under recipes.  Oh man!  What a treat!  For the most part, everything worked really well, cleaned nicely, and was well built.

I had an issue with one of my Gubsticks.  As soon as we telescoped it, right out of the package, it fell apart.  After we got home from camping I sent Grubstick and email.  I let them know what happened and I also gave them suggestion for the Master Kit.  A huge reason I bought the big kit was so my husband and I could make meals at the same time and eat together.  This kit only came with one bacon clip.  As we made breakfast, it took forever with one clip to make four cups.  As a suggestion, I felt like the big kit should come with 2 clips.  Randy emailed me back right away.  He not only sent me a replacement stick, but 2 more clips and another Grubpocket!  Now we can have bacon together for breakfast and beyond!  

This is such a fun product.  I am looking forward to trying the other recipes they have on their blog and thinking of creative new things to make.  I am hoping this lasts years to come.  Their customer service is top notch, beyond expectations.  My outdoorsy friends will most likely be getting Grubstick kits in the future!

Dispersed Camping Haven

I stayed at the regular salmon la sac campground and loved the beautiful area and proximity to Seattle. The next week I went again but scouted around for dispersed (free) camping spots on this road up to the lake. There are so many of them with river access I lost count. For safety reasons me and my friend wanted one out of sight of the road, not a lot of those but we found a great one. Got chased by a female mule deer on the way to the lake and had to run back to the campsite but other than that a great trip!

Watch out though with the elevation increase it can be really cold at night.

Hike in only

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.

Amazing views

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.

Family friendly

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.

Quite campground

Great quite campground. We were there Monday thru Thursday and we were the only ones there for half the time. Close to the river. The river noise will lull you to sleep. Only reason I didn't give a 5 star is the fire pits are totally not useable for grilling. The grills are 2.5 feet off the ground. y You would need to have a raging fire to reach. We always bring our grill of our home bbq. So we used wire to hang our grill under so it was closer to the fire. Lots of chipmunks and birds. So secure your food even in your trailer. We had an unwanted guest destory a loaf of bread in our popup over night. While the river was too shallow for fishing there are places close by that have plenty of trout. Close to Boulder Cave.

Nice campground close to Paradise

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.