This facility is the group site at Ohanapecosh Campground. Ohanapecosh, on the southeast side of Mount Rainier National Park, is surrounded by old growth forest and crossed by an exceptionally beautiful snow-fed river. Close to Ohanapecosh are popular hikes to Silver Falls and the Grove of the Patriarchs.
The main attraction at Mount Rainier National Park is the mountain itself, a glacier-clad volcano of immense proportions. At 14,411 ft., it dominates the skyline for hundreds of miles. Visitors travel through majestic old-growth forests, past tumbling waterfalls and historic buildings to reach sub-alpine meadows, where world-famous wildflower displays are seen in July and August. Popular activities in the park include sight-seeing, hiking, climbing and camping.
Ohanapecosh campground has an elevation of 1,914 feet. Weather is dry, cool and sunny in the summer with daytime temperatures in the 60 to 80-degree range. Even though the eastern side of the park can be sunnier than other areas, weather can be variable and visitors should come prepared.
The most popular campground in the park, Ohanapecosh is convenient to both the Paradise and Sunrise areas. Numerous hiking trails originate both in and nearby the facility, including the Grove of the Patriarchs trail, which leads hikers through stands of old growth forest, and several trails that lead to Silver Falls waterfall. For visitors who would like to learn more about natural and cultural history, the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center is close by.
There are two group sites. Both have tent-only camping, and each can fit up to 25 people. Drinking water is provided. Visitors must use extra caution with food storage, as bear and other animals inhabit the area around the campground.
Ohanapecosh is thought to be a Taidnapam Indian word for "standing on the edge" of the Ohanapecosh River. The river itself is lined with mossy boulders and drains cold, clear water from higher elevations. Its banks are lined with thick, old growth Douglas fir trees and other evergreens. There is no direct view of Mt. Rainier from the campground, but the mountain dominates the landscape in nearby areas of the park.
ADA Access: N
Amazing campground right in the Ohanapecosh River. Beautiful trees plenty of space and amazing ranger led activities for the kids.
I like this campground a lot. The sites are spread out, so that you don’t feel like you’re on top of your neighbor. As someone who often camps alone, it was nice to know others were close, but not too close!
We’ve stayed here a few times and it has been great. There are some sights that are better for kids than others. But we’ve had good luck most of the time.
The group campground is in its own separate area. We had more than enough space for our training retreat. The rangers were extremely helpful in getting everything set up and figured out for our ever-changing list of RSVPs. For groups, you can have the rangers do a special program just for your group---highly recommended!! They do a good job keeping up with cleaning. Lots of great information about the natural features and Native American history. Make sure you follow all the regulations regarding bears…we saw paw prints out on hikes. This is pretty far away from any stores, so make sure you have everything you need before entering the park. Excellent basecamp for long hikes in the area.
Incredible area, heavily wooded, clear waterways, endless mountain views. This is a fairly large and busy campground but the sites still feel private thanks to the PNW forests. They do a good job keeping up with cleaning. Lots of great information about the natural features and Native American history. Make sure you follow all the regulations regarding bears…we saw paw prints out on hikes. This is pretty far away from any stores, so make sure you have everything you need before entering the park. Excellent basecamp for long hikes in the area.
Campsite Review: This campground is really in a nice area of the old growth forest but it's camping amongst crowds when we went in the high season, the entire 188 sites were filled. There were very few walk-up sites and the rest of the campsites themselves are a decent size but not spaced far enough away from other campers and there is no underbrush to separate you from each other at all. We stayed at site 54 in loop A and had people constantly walking through/by both sides of our campsite to get to the toilets which were located on the next level higher than us. People literally walked right by our fire ring and through our chairs at one point to then hike up the hill instead of traversing around to the right for some stairs. If you can go off season by all means try and do it, but avoid this particular site at all costs…
The toilet facilities weren’t the nicest ones I’ve been to and could have used a little TLC. The facilities right by us were dirty and a bit rusty. They also had no soap or hand drying instrument what-so-ever (neither paper towels or hand dryer). Thankfully we had these things ourselves, but usually in NP campgrounds you don’t have to bring them yourself to the restroom.
Amenities: not sure if every site had one, but lots of bear boxes (you’re in bear and cougar (mountain lion) territory), your standard picnic tables, fire rings, plus flush toilets, potable water, & dump station for you RVers |Prohibited: pets off-leash, & firewood gathering (The camp host drives around selling wood if you haven’t already gotten some at a store) we came right during a fire ban, but as soon as it was removed they drove around letting everyone know. There then seemed to be a truck driving around with firewood for sale, I wasn’t able to confirm though as we were headed off to Paradise and then the Olympic peninsula.
Gear Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt I sometimes get the opportunity to test out products and the saving grace for this particular camp site was my testing of the Leatherman Signal (Designed for adventure!!). This is a truly fantastic Leatherman and even if you’ve had them for years you should really check out the newer lines of specialized gear. I had an old PST (pocket survival tool) as a boy scout and had upgraded to the original WAVE, but hadn’t checked them out in years as I still have them and thought what could be better than what I already have. I was wrong. This tool and many of the other lines (skateboarding, surfing, skiing, hunting) are also really worth checking out.
- This is designed specifically with camping in mind.
- Really impressed with the new ability to change out components from this and other tools are you wear them down.
- The hammer is great for knocking in tent stakes into some stubborn ground or breaking up that giant block of ice into some manageable pieces.
- Great locking functions on the blade, saw and hammer section - nothing comes loose as you’re cutting/hammering away
- It’s really all the little touches that make this an awesome tool. Like having a sharpener, a built-in fire starter and emergency whistle. These are things that might end up saving your life if you happen to get stranded while out in the woods.
I give the Leatherman Signal 4.5/5 Stars!
The sites by the river are great with direct access from the site. It was also nice to have a truck driving around selling firewood. We mainly booked here to see the wildflowers, but were very disappointed that we didn't see much even though we went during the season. Lots of hikes nearby though.
Camping at Ohanapecosh is an enjoyable experience, particularly if your spot backs right up to the river. Arrive early to secure a spot. Neighbors will be close by, but in my experience were respectful and quiet. This would be an excellent campground for big groups if you are able to secure side by side camp sites. Park rangers are friendly and helpful. Silver Falls is beautiful and only a short 2.2 mile loop from the grounds.
Lots of sites along the little tributary streams. Dense beautiful forests. Lots of trails in this part of the park for all skill levels. Pretty busy during the summer, make reservations. Unfortunately there are no tent-only loops, but there are a few little tent-only clusters. Fairly basic amenities.
This is Mt Rainer at its best…. beautiful wooded private camp sites. Quintestntal Washington camping