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
Great ranger help - we also got to stay for free because it was the last day of the season. Campsites at Cougar roll up and down with small valleys and ridges, giving extra privacy. Rainer Park is gorgeous, larger than life. Well laid-out, everything easy to find, stark colors, plus we saw some wildlife.