The Ultimate Guide to Camping in Mount Rainier National Park

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Camping in the woods on a mountain is a liberating experience.  Mount Rainier National Parks offers several front country campgrounds that are in the woods, by a river, and on a mountain.  The campgrounds allow park visitors to just the park entrance line.  It makes it easy to the trailheads and get that coveted parking space.  Camping in Mount Rainier National Park is the best way to hang out in the park after dark.

Mount Rainier Camping

Things to Know about Mount Rainier Camping

  • None of the campgrounds are open year around.  Opening and Closing Dates can vary from year to year.  These dates are weather dependent. Check the NPS website for the latest on campground opening and closing dates.
  • Cougar Rock and  Ohanapecosh are reservable.  All others are campsites are first-come-first-serve. During the height of summer, campgrounds can fill as early afternoon.  Get to your desired campground as early as possible and have a back plan.
  • Each tent campsite can have up to 6 people.  There is space for two tents and one vehicle at the campsite.  The campsite has a picnic table.  Many of the campsites have a fire pit.  Please double check the fire regulations and ensure your fire is completely out before going to bed.
  • Use the Bear Box or store all food items in your car.  Please do NOT leave any food, utensils out, or any scented items.  This includes toothpaste, toothbrush, chapstick.  Pretty much put everything but what you are going to sleep into the bear box.  Mount Rainier is bear country.  Remember a fed bear is a dead bear.

Getting to Mount Rainier National Park

If you are planning to visit Mount Rainier, the best option is to fly into Seattle, Washington and rent a car.  The park map will help you pick the best campground location for you.

** All Campground prices are valid as of 08 July 2018.

Southwest Mount Rainier

Cougar Rock Campground

Cougar Rock Campground is the southeast campground in Mount Rainier.  It is located on the banks of the Nisqually River.  This large campground is located just north of Longmire.  The campsites are spaced out in a forest and divided between 6 loops.  The campground is a large and busy place.  Please drive carefully.

Season Late May – Late September
Number of Sites 173 individual sites & 5 group sites
Fee per night $20 per individual site & $60 per group site
Reservations Available Yes, but they are recommended
Max RV Length 35 ft
RV Hook-up No (Dump Station is available)
Restrooms Flush Toilets
Water Cold Running Water
Showers No
Max Length of Stay 14  Days
Wheelchair Accessibility Yes
Wifi on Property No
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Mount Rainier Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Walk-in space is rare, make reservations if possible.    
Closest General Store  Ashford

Southeast Mount Rainier

Ohanapecosh Campground

Ohanapecosh Campground is the southeast campground in Mount Rainier.  It is located on both banks of the Ohanapecosh River.  This large campground is located near the Steven’s Canyon Entrance and Packwood.  The campsites are spaced out with trees for privacy and divided between 8 loops.  This campground is a largest in the park.

Season Late May – Late September
Number of Sites 188 individual sites & 2 group sites
Fee per night $20 per individual site & $60 per group site
Reservations Available Yes, but they are recommended
Max RV Length 32 ft
RV Hook-up No
Restrooms Flush Toilets
Water Cold Running Water
Showers No
Max Length of Stay 14  Days
Wheelchair Accessibility Yes
Wifi on Property No
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Mount Rainier Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Walk-in space is rare, make reservations if possible.    
Closest General Store  Packwood

Northeast Mount Rainier

White River Campground

White River Campground is the northeast campground in Mount Rainier.  It is located on near White River.  The White River is the perfect base when exploring the Sunrise area.    The campsites are spaced out in a forest and divided between 4 loops.

Season Late June – Late September
Number of Sites 112 individual sites
Fee per night $20 per individual site
Reservations Available No, first-come first-serve 
Max RV Length 32 ft
RV Hook-up No
Restrooms Flush Toilets
Water Cold Running Water
Showers No
Max Length of Stay 14  Days
Wheelchair Accessibility Yes
Wifi on Property No
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Mount Rainier Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Between noon – 3:00 PM between June and August    
Closest General Store  Packwood

Northwest Mount Rainier

Mowich Lake Campground

Mowich Lake Campground is the northwest campground in Mount Rainier. The campground is located on the shores of Mowich Lake.  This small privative campground is located on a dirt road.  This simple campground is well away from

Season Early July – Lake October
Number of Sites 13 Tent Sites
Fee per night Free
Reservations Available No, first-come first-serve 
Max RV Length N/A
RV Hook-up No
Restrooms Vault Toilets
Water N/A
Showers No
Max Length of Stay 14  Days
Wheelchair Accessibility No
Wifi on Property No
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Mount Rainier Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Between 3:00 – 5:00 PM on weekends
Closest General Store  Carbonado

Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Big Creek Campground

Big Creek Campground is located near the south west entrance of Mount Rainer National Park.  The campground is in the national forest but is a great back up if Cougar Creek Campground is full.

Season Late June – Late September
Number of Sites 13 Tent Sites
Fee per night $18 per site
Reservations Available Yes, first-come first-serve 
Max RV Length N/A
RV Hook-up No
Restrooms Vault Toilets
Water N/A
Showers No
Max Length of Stay 14  Days
Wheelchair Accessibility No
Wifi on Property No
Laundry Facilities No
Pets Allowed Yes, but please review the Mount Rainier Pet Policy
Typical Fill Time Between noon – 3:00 PM between June and August    
Closest General Store  Ashford

Do you have any other questions about front country camping in Mount Rainer National Park?

Planning on going camping in Mount Rainier National Park? Confused about which campsite to pick. National Park Obsessed's Ultimate Guide is here to help. 

#MountRainier #MountRainierNPS #NationalPark #NationalParks #NationalParkGeek #Findyourpark #nationalparkobsessed

Jennifer Melroy

Jennifer has been obsessed with national parks as a child.  This Tennessee native spent her childhood exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and traveling with her parents to National Parks and around the Caribbean.  She is always planning her next adventure and is ready to see the world while trying to visit all 59 National Park (*She is ignoring the hunk of concrete that just became a national park).

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