Tenting World’s Information to RVing Mount Rainier Nationwide Park

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Standing 14,410 ft in top, Mount Rainier is likely one of the most iconic and imposing websites in your complete Pacific Northwest. The mountain’s snowcapped peak looms giant on the horizon, even 70 miles away within the metropolis of Seattle.

The breathtakingly stunning mountain sits on the heart of an unlimited wilderness expanse that’s Mount Rainer Nationwide Park, a spot the place guests can discover glacier-fed waterfalls and lakes, miles of Douglas fir forests, and vibrant flowering meadows.

This wild and untamed place is an unlimited, spectacular playground for out of doors fans and nature lovers alike. Adventurous vacationers will discover the nationwide park holds an simple attract that’s onerous to disregard. The mountain is looking, and you could go.

Why Go to Mount Rainier Nationwide Park in Your RV?

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: arshad ullah/Getty

Regardless of its distant and wild nature, Mount Rainier Nationwide Park is definitely very accessible by RV. Positioned simply an hour outdoors Seattle, this wilderness setting is ideal for day journeys or prolonged tenting excursions.

Contained in the park, guests will discover countless alternatives for journey, together with the possibility to discover lush rainforests, hike via alpine meadows, and camp within the shadow of the titular mountain—which occurs to be an energetic volcano.

The park has one thing to supply anybody who enjoys the outside and exquisite area. With greater than 150 trails to wander and 147 miles of highway to drive, there are a lot of methods to soak up this pristine wilderness.

RVers will even discover three incredible campgrounds contained in the park boundaries, every with websites for motorhomes and journey trailers. All of this makes it an amazing vacation spot for tenting, exploring, and enjoyable.

On the coronary heart of all of it is the mountain itself. These with the time and inclination could make the arduous trek to Rainier’s iconic summit. However be warned, that is no straightforward enterprise, requiring stamina, dedication, and a real spirit of journey.

When to Go to Mount Rainier Nationwide Park

The park is open year-round and gives wildly completely different experiences relying on whenever you go. Right here’s what you might want to know:

Mount Rainier Nationwide Park within the Spring

Photo Tripping America - Mount Rainier - Camping World

Early spring could be chilly and moist, however because the season continues, the park warms up properly. Common excessive temperatures vary from the low 40s in March to the higher 50s in Could. In a single day lows vary from the mid-20s to mid-40s throughout that very same time interval.

Snow storms can nonetheless be fairly widespread at altitude, resulting in highway closures at instances. Remember to test on-line or at a ranger station for the present circumstances. Crowds are typically low throughout this time of 12 months however develop in numbers nearer to the beginning of summer time.

Mount Rainier Nationwide Park within the Summer season

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: Jennifer J Taylor/Getty

Summer season is a well-liked time to go to the park, which is busiest from mid-July via mid-August. That’s when Rainier’s well-known wildflowers bloom, bringing a dizzying array of colours with them. The climate is often incredible, with dry circumstances and heat—however hardly ever sizzling—temperatures. Count on daytime highs within the low 70s and in a single day lows within the 50s, with cooler circumstances at larger altitudes.

Mount Rainier Nationwide Park within the Fall

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: Claudia Cooper/Getty

Autumn is a tremendous time to go to Mountain Rainier Nationwide Park, which is awash within the season’s colours beginning in late September. Autumn does deliver cooler temperatures—count on low 50s in the course of the day and higher 30s at night time—and October could be wet. Throughout peak leaf season, the park’s trails and roads could be fairly busy however taper off as fall wanes.

Mount Rainier Nationwide Park within the Winter

mount rainier national park
Easy snowy panorama close to Mt Rainier with excessive distinction and corniced hill

The nationwide park will get loads of snow in the course of the winter, with some areas receiving a number of hundred inches of accumulation. Consequently, lots of the roads and trails are closed for the season. However the park continues to be very a lot open, and there may be loads to do, supplied you gown for the climate and don’t thoughts the challenges that winter brings. Common daytime temperatures are likely to hover round 35ºF, whereas in a single day lows drop into the low 20s.

The place to Keep

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: Nationwide Park Service

There are 4 campgrounds in Mount Rainier, three of which might accommodate RVs. Not one of the websites have hookups of any type, so dry tenting is the one choice. The campgrounds do have water and flush bathrooms however remember they’re solely open for a restricted time every year, often working from late Could via late September. The park expenses a web site payment of $20 at every location.

The park’s campgrounds embrace the next:

  • Cougar RockPositioned within the southwest area of the park, this campground sits at an elevation of three,180 ft and options 179 particular person campsites. This campground can accommodate motorhomes 35 ft in size and trailers as much as 27 ft. Websites can be found on a first-come, first-served foundation, though superior reservations can be found at recreation.gov.
  • OhanapecoshHead to the southeast nook of the park to search out this campground, which additionally has 179 designated campsites. Ohanahpecosh can accommodate motorhomes as much as 32 ft in size and trailers so long as 27 ft. Websites can be found on a first-come, first-served foundation, though superior reservations can be found at recreation.gov.
  • White RiverThe White River Campground is the smallest and most distant within the park, providing 88 particular person websites at an altitude of 4,400 ft. RVs are restricted to not more than 27 ft in size for motorhomes and 18 ft for trailers. There are not any superior reservations accessible for this location, which operates on a first-come, first-served foundation.

Staying Exterior the Park

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: Packwood RV Park

If the campgrounds contained in the park are full otherwise you desire a campground with full hookups, there are some wonderful choices close by. Listed below are a couple of solutions for locations to park your rig:

  • Maple Grove Resort and Golf CourseMaple Grove is likely one of the greatest RV resorts within the area, with loads to supply guests. The campground is positioned in Everett, WA, and is lower than an hour from Mount Rainier Nationwide Park.
  • Rainier Wings/Packwood RV ParkPositioned in Packwood, WA, this campground is a bit more than an hour away from the nationwide park.
  • Mounthaven ResortThis charming RV resort is present in Ashford, WA, which is discovered simply outdoors the boundaries of Mount Rainier Nationwide Park.

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Ideas for Your RV Tenting Keep

mount rainier national park
Mt. Freemont Lookout in Mt. Rainier Nationwide Park, Washington
  • In the event you plan on visiting Mount Rainer in the course of the busy summer time season, e-book your campsites early. The park can get very busy in July, August, and early September, making it difficult to search out an open web site.
  • Reservations for the Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh campgrounds could be made on recreation.gov, however White River is at all times first-come, first-served solely.
  • Tenting or in a single day parking is prohibited in every single place apart from designated campgrounds.
  • All autos should be parked throughout the designated campsite parking space, not past the boundaries or on vegetation.
  • Tenting is restricted to 14 consecutive days in any developed campground throughout the park and not more than 28 days complete in any designated campground throughout the calendar 12 months.
  • Preserve campfires small always, and don’t depart them unattended.
  • Purchase firewood domestically to forestall bringing invasive species into the park.
  • Canine, cats, and different pets should be caged, on a leash (now not than 6 ft), or in any other case below bodily restraint always.

Learn how to Get Round

Photo Tripping America - Mount Rainier - Camping World

As a result of it’s positioned in west-central Washington state, entry to Mountain Rainier Nationwide Park is superb. The park sits a comparatively brief distance from a number of main metropolitan areas, together with Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima, and Portland.

Guests to Mount Rainier will discover 5 entrances to the park. The southwest entrance is open year-round and could be accessed through SR 706. The northwest entrance at Carbon River through SR 165 is just open to automobiles as much as the doorway level.

From that time on, solely pedestrians and bicycles are allowed. Three entrances on the east are open seasonally from about Could to September through SR 123. As soon as within the park, autos can journey SR 706 year-round from the southwest entrance to Longmire Customer Heart, the place the highway is closed from late September till spring.

Nevertheless, in the summertime season, SR 706 continues via the southern part of the park, changing into Stevens Canyon Street. As soon as reaching the southwest entrance, autos can journey your complete jap area on SR 123 and SR 410.

All roads are a bit slender and winding however provide awe-inspiring views and pull-offs to benefit from the surroundings or take a break. Visitors jams are potential in the course of the busiest instances of the 12 months, particularly on the weekends, so be ready to be affected person. The slender roads can be difficult for bigger motorhomes and journey trailers, so enable loads of time in your drive. With practically 150 miles of highway to wander, there may be loads to see.

When visiting the park within the winter, at all times test the present highway circumstances and closures. Heavy snow closes lots of the roads for a number of months, and others could be shut down based mostly on present circumstances.

Locations to Go

Mount Rainier Nationwide Park has 5 distinct areas, every with their very own character and particular sights. Listed below are a number of solutions of locations to go to inside these districts:

Henry M. Jackson Memorial Customer Heart at Paradise

Photograph by knelson20 through Shutterstock

Positioned within the Paradise area, that is the principle customer heart for the park. It is a wonderful cease for guests to select up details about the area, be a part of ranger-led excursions, try some reveals, and watch a movie about Mount Rainier. You’ll additionally discover a bookstore and a cafeteria right here. 

Paradise Inn

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: kellyvandellen/Getty

This historic resort has lodging, a eating room, a café, and a present store. In-built 1917, the inn has been designated as a “Nice Lodge of the West.” It’s open seasonally.

Longmire Museum

As soon as the unique park headquarters, the Longmire Museum holds park reveals, data, and a e-book retailer. It’s positioned within the Longmire Nationwide Historic District, which showcases a number of buildings constructed within the “Nationwide Park Service Rustic” model.

Nationwide Park Inn

Photograph by melissamn through Shutterstock

Positioned within the Longmire historic park district, this 1911 log constructing has 25 rooms with informal eating and a present store. It’s open year-round.

Dawn Customer Heart and Day Lodge

Photograph by Van Rossen through Shutterstock

This customer heart and its accompanying day lodge are open from early July to early September. They supply data, a bookstore, a cafeteria, and a present store.

Ohanapecosh Customer Heart

Positioned within the southeast nook of the park, this heart has data, reveals of the realm, guided interpretive packages, and a e-book retailer. It’s open from late Could to early October.

Reflection Lakes

Photo Tripping America - Mount Rainier - Camping World
Photograph Credit score: NPS

Positioned three miles east of Paradise, these lakes are the right place to seize photos of Mount Rainier mirrored on the water. Better of all, as a result of the lakes are discovered just some steps from the highway, they’re simply accessed by most guests.


The aptly-named Paradise area is discovered on the southern flanks of Mountain Rainier. As one of the crucial well-known places in your complete park, it will probably get often crowded, however it gives among the greatest views too. There are a number of trailheads within the space, making it an amazing place to go for a hike, with crowds scaling down the additional you wander.

Myrtle Falls

Photograph by Stephen Moehle through Shutterstock

The brief one-mile roundtrip hike to Myrtle Falls takes guests to an idyllic setting that not solely consists of the namesake waterfall however gorgeous views of Mount Rainier within the distance.

Issues to Do

With practically 370 sq. miles to discover, out of doors fans and nature lovers will discover quite a few actions to maintain them busy. Listed below are a couple of that you need to do whilst you’re visiting the park.

Day Climbing

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: Jon Lauriat

The preferred exercise within the park is mountaineering its many trails. It’s an effective way to benefit from the meadows filled with wildflowers, alpine landscapes, and the quiet solitude of the backcountry.

Trails are organized by area and issue:

  • Longmire Area – This space is thought for its historic district and scenic waterfalls.
  • Paradise Area – This breathtakingly stunning area is thought for its wildflower meadows and fascinating landscapes.
  • Ohanapecosh Area – This space is thought for its towering old-growth forests and its proximity to the wild Ohanapecosh River.
  • Dawn Area – At 6,400 ft in altitude, this area is the very best level within the park that may be reached by automobile It gives gorgeous views of the mountain and loads of spectacular trails to wander.
  • Carbon River & Mowich Area – This space is thought for its lush rainforests and glacial basin.


Photograph by Picture Supply Buying and selling Ltd through Shutterstock

As talked about, there are 4 official campgrounds throughout the park boundaries, though solely three of them can accommodate RVs. The fourth, Mowich Lake Campground, is a hike-in, hike-out location above 4,929 ft. Backpackers will discover 13 tent pads there, which can be found on a first-come, first-served foundation. Fires are prohibited, and the positioning is just open from early July via early October.

Backcountry tenting is allowed within the park’s expansive backcountry. Permits could be obtained at a customer heart or ranger station. These permits are in excessive demand, and park officers recommend reserving a allow forward of your go to.


Photograph by NPS

Cyclists are welcome to bike the roads inside Mount Rainier Nationwide Park, however they can not experience on trails. Present roads are slender and winding with out paved shoulders, so experience fastidiously. September and October are often the most effective instances to experience, as automobile visitors within the park decreases, however the climate stays heat, and the autumn colours are spectacular.


Photo Tripping America - Mount Rainier - Camping World

Mount Rainier is likely one of the premiere climbing locations on the planet, drawing 1000’s of alpinists yearly. It’s a difficult ascent with over 9,000 ft of vertical acquire to achieve the summit at 14,410 ft.

Whereas not for the faint of coronary heart, the climb is accessible for guests who’re in good bodily situation and have expertise in mountaineering. Permits are required for such an enterprise, which generally takes two to a few days to finish.

Climbing Mount Rainier isn’t for the inexperienced or unprepared. Anybody wishing to summit the height ought to achieve this with knowledgeable information, a lot of which could be employed within the space. For extra data, try the Nationwide Park Service tips on the park’s web site.


Photo Tripping America - Mount Rainier - Camping World
Photograph Credit score: NPS

Snowshoeing is a well-liked technique to discover the park in the course of the winter months. Friends to Mount Rainier are welcome to hike on any path while not having a information. Simply gown appropriately for the climate circumstances and keep secure in your adventures.

Moreover, ranger-guided snowshoe excursions are supplied from December via March on weekends and holidays. Individuals are led via park areas to see how crops and animals adapt to winter circumstances. The excursions are first-come, first-serve,d with a restrict of 25 company per tour. Guests to Mount Rainier are additionally welcome to snowshoe on trails and not using a information.

Snowboarding and Snowboarding

Photograph by CSNafzger through Shutterstock

Whereas there are not any designated ski hills or resorts contained in the park, skilled skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes within the backcountry. Mount Rainier gives epic and wild terrain that’s greatest explored by skilled winter athletes.

To guard the indigenous flora, the Nationwide Park Service requires no less than 5 ft of snow protection. To seek out the places the place backcountry snowboarding and snowboarding are allowed, test in on the Jackson Customer Heart.


Snowmobiling is one other common technique to expertise Mount Rainier Nationwide Park within the winter. Within the southwest area of the park, guests can experience the size of Westside Street to Spherical cross, a distance of 6.5 miles.

Snowmobiles are additionally permitted on the highway loops close to Cougar Rock Campground and Freeway 410 to the White River Campground. For extra data on snowmobiling within the park and to get maps for the White River, Carbon River, and Mowich Lake areas, go to the US Forest Service District Workplace in Enumclaw.

What to Deliver and Learn how to Put together

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: svetlana57/Getty

Mount Rainier Nationwide Park isn’t removed from a number of main metropolitan areas however is a wild and distant place. Listed below are a couple of further ideas that will help you take pleasure in your time there:

  • Remember to cease in one of many customer facilities to search out out which roads are open and the way busy the park is, and be taught extra in regards to the place. That is particularly necessary from late fall into early spring when highway closures are widespread.
  • If you wish to climb the mountain, contact a neighborhood information service to make sure you are secure and well-prepared for such an endeavor. Among the prime guiding firms embrace RMI Expeditions, Alpine Ascents, and Worldwide Mountain Guides.
  • Cellphone service is offered in some sections of the park however very restricted in others. Be ready to be out of contact with the surface world throughout parts of your journey. Contemplate including a cell booster to your RV if crucial, or alternatively, use two-way radios to speak together with your get together.
  • There are two eating places, two snack parks, a restaurant, and a normal retailer positioned within the park. These places are good for grabbing lunch or selecting up drinks and snacks for the highway. You’ll additionally discover loads of choices within the neighboring communities when coming and going.
  • Deliver further layers, even in the summertime. The climate could be considerably unpredictable generally, and it’s at all times good to have a fleece pullover or a rain jacket at your disposal simply in case the circumstances change.
  • Mount Rainier Nationwide Park has a big and various wildlife inhabitants, a few of which could be harmful to guests. Remember to preserve a secure distance from black bears and mountain lions always. Don’t knowingly method these animals; in case you come throughout one unexpectedly, slowly however swiftly again away.
  • Winter is a tremendous time to go to the nationwide park, however it may be unforgiving for the unprepared. Deliver loads of heat garments, boots, and different tools to maintain you secure within the Mount Rainier wilderness. Additionally, let others know the place you’re going and whenever you count on to be again.

Transient Historical past of Mount Rainier Nationwide Park

mount rainier national park
Photograph Credit score: MohammedGammal/Getty

Whereas there may be proof that nomadic tribes moved via the Mount Rainier area way back to 8000 BC, there have been no everlasting settlements within the space till the 1800s. As an alternative, these historic vacationers got here to the realm to hunt, fish, and discover with out establishing villages. Archaeologists have discovered loads of artifacts left behind by these hunters, together with a shelter used on a seasonal foundation round 1000 BC.

In 1854, the Nisqually, Puyallup, Muckleshoot, Yakama, and Taidnapam peoples entered into treaties with the US authorities that allowed them to settle within the shadow of the mountain. These 5 Native American tribes already lived within the space however nonetheless hadn’t established everlasting settlements. They’d stay on these lands for a number of a long time that adopted.

In 1893, the federal authorities created the Pacific Forest Reserve to guard the lands on and across the volcanic mountain. Simply six years later, President William McKinley would signal a invoice that formally created Mount Rainier Nationwide Park. The purpose was to protect the land for generations to return and defend the height from urbanization. This was achieved as a lot for the pure marvel of the place but in addition to maintain communities properly away from a possible volcanic eruption.

Immediately, Mount Rainier Nationwide Park sees greater than 1.5 million guests yearly. Roughly 10,000 of these guests come to climb to the summit of the tallest peak within the Cascade Vary.

Plan your subsequent journey to the nationwide parks in an RV. Lease an RV, trade-in your RV, or purchase an RV and begin exploring.

Have you ever visited Mount Rainier Nationwide Park? Share your ideas and recommendation within the feedback under.


Shelley Dennis is a journey photographer and author who threw warning to the wind and gave up most of her belongings to journey the nation in an RV. Her trusty sidekick for this lifetime journey is her Golden Retriever, Sully. Yow will discover them each at www.PhotoTrippingAmerica.com


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