This was the first campground on a multi-day backpacking trip. It's really close to the Sunrise Visitor Center, which I wasn't too happy about. But It made for a very short first day, which is when the packs are the heaviest, so that was in our favor.
The campground has multiple sites. We arrived late so got one at the far outskirts. We had to walk down a trail to get to the bear box and to use the toilet.
Thank goodness for the bear box. I bear camp by our sit in the evening, we think since we were the first site on its path. It wasn't too interested in us because we practiced proper bear safety in putting all potentially smelly things (including toothpaste) in the bear box and did as the rangers had suggested, and made some noise. He ran off pretty quick. Made for an exciting first night.
The sites are nicely placed far apart so you feel like you are all alone in the wilderness. We were there the night of the meteoroid shower and I woke up several times just to watch it. Our spot had trees but we were up on a hill and the trees opened up so we got quite the show.
All around, it is a great campground.
This campground barely qualifies as backcountry, being little more than a mile from the trailhead at the Sunrise Visitor Center. It is located off of a popular day hike to the Glacier Overlook—which provides an excellent view of Emmons Glacier. There are community bear boxes to share, no water, and no fire. There is also an outhouse but plug your nose for this one! Note that Shadow lake is a small hop, skip, and a jump from the camp. There are also group sites. The camp itself wasn’t very busy when we were around. If can be a great base camp for the Burroughs, or a stopping over point in the Wonderland or many other great trails.
If this is part of a longer trip, Sunrise Village is only a little over a mile away and has some hot food grabs, and minimal groceries. Not sure if there are places to send boxes to here—but putting Wonderland on my to do list personally. Rainier was simply amazing.