Cougar Rock Campground, on the southwest side of Mt. Rainier National Park, is conveniently located to the Paradise area. Paradise is the most popular destination in the park, with a lodge and visitor center, many miles of hiking trails and a commanding view of the mountain.
The main attraction at Mount Rainier National Park is the mountain itself, a glacier-clad volcano of immense proportions. At 14,411 feet, it dominates the skyline for hundreds of miles. Visitors travel through majestic old-growth forest, past tumbling waterfalls and historic buildings to reach sub-alpine meadows, where world-famous wildflower displays are seen through July and August. Popular activities in the park include sight-seeing, hiking, rock climbing and camping.
The Cougar Rock area is located at an elevation of 3,180 feet. Summers are dry and cool with daytime temperatures in the 60 to 80-degree range. Weather throughout the park can be variable, so visitors should come prepared.
The campground has one lookout point from which campers can view Mt. Rainier. Although it is peaceful now, the still-active volcano last erupted in the mid 1800s. The campground is adjacent to the Nisqually River and is surrounded by thick forests. A short drive to Paradise in summer reveals fields of lush wildflowers.
From the facility, experienced hikers and backpackers can access the well-known, strenuous but beautiful Wonderland Trail, which encircles the park for 93 miles. For those who enjoy learning more about the parks natural and cultural history, there is an on-site amphitheater where interpretive programs are held.
The group campground has five campsites and is located within the general Cougar Rock Campground. Sites are relatively rustic, but have drinking water, flush toilets and picnic tables. All group campsites must be reserved. Visitors must use extra caution with food storage, as foxes and other animals have been known to frequent the campground looking for food.
Mount Rainier National Park is about 50 miles southeast of the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.
Interpretive Programs: Educational Programs
Picnicking: Picnic Tables
Visitor Center: Ranger Station
Day Use Area: Amphitheater
This is the closest campground to Paradise, the most popular area and hikes available on Mt Rainier.
This is a classic, I hope once you camp here you come back again every year like we have.
If you are going to do one thing on your trip, take the wonderland trail from your campsite. This is the most accessible location and one of the most spectacular trails.
This campground is pretty large and each site is set back a little to give you some additional privacy. Although they are mostly non-electric there isn't a tent only section. The sites are all very flat and have tables and fire rings. There are a god number of flush toilets and potable water. You're really close to the paradise visitor center and great hikes.
We lucked out and got a spot at this campground on a Saturday in the middle of the busy summer months. It's a perfect spot to explore the park!
Very cloudy on the first day….where is Mt. Rainer. Very sunny the next day….oh wow. Mt. Rainer is everywhere! Can see Mt. Rainer from the campground. Amazing. Very quiet, campsites felt private too
Perfect spot in the woods and a short drive to Paradise
Camp ground is very nice, clean with great forest, river and mountain views. They are activities in the evening at the ranger station at longmire or paradise. If you are looking for an volunteer opportunity while in the park, check out the Washington Train Association also know as the WTA. The WTA is one of the groups that hold work parties that maintain the trails we all walk on in the park. I have work a few work parties and love the mission, people and all over experience.
The views of this place are just breathtaking. Everyone should visit at least once in your life. By far one of my favorite places on earth.
I showed up without reservations and the host directed me to a perfect spot. There was a bridge leading to a private tent site. The campground was wonderful with restrooms and water nearby. The neighbor campers were all very friendly. The campground is in the Southwest of the national park. This puts it close to some wonderful hiking at Comet Falls, Paradise and so many others. The park officials were happy to help me find great things to do in the time I was there. If you have a chance to get this particular campsite, go for it! I would definitely go back here again and plan to spend at least a week exploring the national park. Tip: fill up with gas before entering the park (there is one right before you enter if you are coming from the west) because it's really big and there are no gas stations inside the park.
For the size of this place, it's pretty out of the way (in a good way). There are no fire pits, and the driveways are kind of small, but all of that is incredibly worth it. Great views, incredibly quiet, and amazingly clean. If I didn't live across the country I would camp here every weekend in the summer.
There is no need to wait in a long line to get a camp spot. There is plenty with exactly 173.There is no restrooms and fire pits but the price is worth it for the view and experience. The price is $60. The best view of the area is Mt Rainier itself