Mount Rainier is an active volcano that towers above Ashford, Washington. Search for an RV in Pierce County and plan to stay a while exploring all Washington and Mount Rainier National Park have to offer. People flock from all over the country to visit Mount Rainier National Park, which boasts the most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States. Tacoma is only an hour and a half northwest of Mount Rainier National Park and is a great tourist destination.
For visitors seeking the best of both worlds, explore the big city of Seattle, just under two hours away from the park. Olympia is also a scenic two-hour drive northwest of the park where you can find a rental RV to spend the weekend or an entire week. No matter how much time you have to spend at Mount Rainier National Park, camping with an RV is the way to go.
Visitors can enjoy all sorts of activities at Mount Rainier National Park. Biking or hiking the trails is an excellent way to see the scenery. There are no designated bike trails in the park, but the park roads can be challenging in certain areas for even the most experienced bikers. Dozens of miles of trails are open to hikers throughout the park.
The challenge of climbing Mount Rainier draws many professional mountaineers each year. The peak of this 14,410-foot active volcano takes a lot of skill to safely climb. A portion of the climb ascends more than 9,000 feet in elevation, so only experienced mountaineers should attempt this climb.
RV camping at state parks and national parks allows you to bring your fishing gear with you. The fishing season at Mount Rainier National Park is limited, but the calm lakes make a tranquil place to cast a line. Several fish species on the endangered species list call this park home. Anglers are required to use artificial lures, barbless hooks, and release all uninjured fish. A fishing license isn’t required to fish within Mount Rainier National Park.
Camping at Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park offers hundreds of sites with different amenities. Three of the park’s four campgrounds welcome RV campers. Cougar Rock Campground accommodates rental RVs up to 35 feet long, while vehicles up to 27 feet can park at White River Campground. Mount Rainier National Park doesn’t provide hookups or showers at any of its campgrounds. Travel to Ashford or Packwood for laundry facilities and pay showers.
The Big Creek Campground sits just minutes from the west entrance of the park and is a great alternative to camping at Mount Rainier National Park. The campsites are spacious, and some even overlook Big Creek, giving a sense of peace and tranquility. Picnic tables, fire pits, and vault toilets are available to campers throughout the campgrounds. Potable water is also available near the main entrance.
Located only seven and a half miles from Mount Rainier National Park, Dalles Campground boasts campsites nestled among western red cedars and Douglas firs. One of the main draws of this campground is the ancient nine-and-a-half-foot-tall Douglas fir that’s estimated to be 700 years old. Campsites are within walking distance to vault toilets, potable water, and a covered picnic area.
Exploring the Area
RV camping at national parks allows you to wake up early and explore as much of the park as possible, but don’t forget about other interesting sites around Mount Rainier National Park. You’ll want to take time to explore the area and search for souvenirs to hand out to loved ones back home. Several smaller towns and communities surrounding the park offer a variety of shopping and restaurants. Enjoy lunch or dinner at a different place each day; you even have your choice of cuisine, including seafood, American, Italian, Mexican, and Asian.
While you’re camping at Mount Rainier National Park, be sure to stop in and have brunch at the historic Paradise Inn. This lodge was built in the 1920s and is one of the last original “Great Lodges of the West.” When you step into the Paradise Inn, you’ll feel like you have stepped back into the early 1900s with its rustic charm and décor. The Paradise Inn doesn’t just serve brunch — you can visit anytime for a meal, but their Sunday brunch is legendary.
Take a day trip into Ashford and experience all the charm this small town has to offer. Visitors can wander down Main Street and enjoy the small shops offering a variety of wares to tourists and locals. Be sure to stop at the pottery shop located near the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. This isn’t your typical souvenir shop; instead, it houses a variety of artwork and paintings of the area as well as pottery and knickknacks.
Make the hour-and-a-half trek to Tacoma and visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. This is one of the most popular attractions in Tacoma, and visitors flock there to see the polar bears, lemurs, tigers, meerkats, and sharks, just to name a few. Stick around and catch some of the educational programs hosted by the zoo and aquarium before heading back to Mount Rainier National Park.