Go RV Rentals to Mount Rainier National Park
Travelers who Go RV Rentals from anywhere in the state of Washington or Oregon will find that they can reach Mount Rainier National Park fairly quickly. In fact, the park is about 60 miles or a two-hour drive south of Seattle where you can rent a campervan and 140 miles or two and one-half hour drive north of Portland. This national park was established in March of 1899, which made it the fifth one in the United States. There are 236,381 protected acres within this park, which makes it perfect if you want a beautiful destination to visit that is full of natural beauty, a plethora of outdoor activities, and spectacular rushing waterfalls. Check out the webcams! In order to completely appreciate the phenomenal area of this park, you are encouraged to stay for at least two or three nights.
Top Activities to Do While in Mount Rainier National Park
Each season brings unique sights and sounds in Mount Rainier National Park, which is why you will need to either choose your travel dates according to what you are the most interested in or simply visit at least once during each of the seasons.
One of the first things that you will want to do while in Mount Rainier National Park is hike along any of the more than one hundred hiking trails. The trails range from easy to strenuous, which means that you can choose the ones that meet your physical capabilities, as well as your interests. These trails all lead to sparkling mountain lakes, flowing streams, fragrant and colorful meadows, massive waterfalls, and the most stunning views that you have ever seen. The most popular trail is the infamous Wonderland Trail but be prepared to be away from your RV rental for a few days, as this trail is over ninety-three miles long.
If you love the views that you see while hiking in Mount Rainier National Park, you might want to consider seeing them from a different vantage point. This is possible on the Mt. Rainier Railroad, which runs from the month of May through October. This train journey takes approximately forty minutes each way, and you can get off at one of the stops to wander around. As you stare out the train windows, you will find that you can discover old barns, pastures filled with horses, and the beautiful countryside.
If you do not want to hike or take the train, you can always take a little ride along one of the scenic drives. There are four loops that go to different areas of the park, as well as the Chinook Scenic Byway and the White Pass Scenic Byway.
One of the last things that you will want to do is take a ride on the Mount Rainier Gondola. This ride takes approximately ten minutes and offers breathtaking views of Mount Rainier and the rest of the Cascade Mountains. You may even want to take the time to dine at the Summit House, which is nearby the gondola and has amazing views and even better cuisine.
Campgrounds for Your Motorhome/Camper Rental
There are three campgrounds at Mount Rainier National Park for you to stay at with your RV rental, but you will need a permit before you can stay at any of them. These are easy to obtain when you are making your reservations though, and you can also get one when you arrive at the park.
Cougar Rock Campground
This campground is within the southwestern section of the park and it has more than one hundred and seventy sites that are scattered amongst multiple loops. This campground is open from late May until late September and offers water, flush toilets, fire grates, and a dump station. Cougar Rock is near the Wonderland Trail, which makes this the perfect destination if you plan on hiking at least part of that trail during your stay.
This beautiful campground has more than one hundred and eighty sites that can be found in numerous loops that surround the Ohanapecosh River. The campground is open from late May through late September and has water, flush toilets, and fire grates. You will love how your site will be close to the visitor’s center, as well as the entrance to Stevens Canyon, the nature trail, and many of the other hiking trails.
White River Campground
The White River Campground has just over one hundred campsites and is open from late June through late September. You will have access to water, fire grates, and flush toilets when you stay at this campground. This campground is near the White River and you will have access to multiple trails, including the Wonderland Trail and the Glacier Basin Trail.
Courtesy of the National Park Service:
Cougar Rock (SW section of park)
White River (NE section of park)
# of Individual Sites
13 tent pads* for 10 primitive walk-in sites (tents only)
Individual Site Fee
none (must self-register at campground kiosk)
# of group sites
Group Site Fee
Late May to late Sept.
Late May to late Sept.
Late June to late Sept.
Early July to early Oct.
no potable water
RV: 35 ft.
RV: 32 ft.
RV: 27 ft.
primitive campground, tents only
There are no electrical, water, or grey water hookups in any of the campgrounds.
*Tent pads vary in size and some larger tents may not fit.
Although campsites are available on a first come, first served basis, you can reserve sites at the Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Rock campgrounds by visiting the Recreation.gov web site.
If you plan to use the group sites at Cougar Rock or Ohanapecosh campgrounds between Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day, you must make reservations.
Most of the campgrounds are closed in Mount Rainier National Park during the winter months, but you can always call to verify as you are planning your trip. Do not let that deter you from planning a trip to this park at this time of the year though, as you will be amazed at how different the park looks during this season. Plus, this is the only time that you will be able to ski down the mountain after riding up on the gondola, as well as go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Spring, Summer, and Autumn Activities
The air smells crisp and fresh during these three seasons at Mount Rainier National Park and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. All the campgrounds are normally open during these seasons, which means that you will have plenty of places to choose from when you are planning your trip. See the flowers starting to bloom in the spring, watch the wildlife frolic in the forest during the summer, and watch the leaves change colors and begin to fall during the autumn. You can even go horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and do a little trail running during these seasons.
What Not to Do While Visiting Mount Rainier National Park
There are a few things that you will want to keep in mind before you arrive at Mount Rainier National Park, as it will make your trip much more enjoyable.
You should never bring your own firewood into the park, as it could have certain diseases or bugs that could spread to the rest of the trees. Instead, purchase your wood when you get there.
You should never leave your food laying around inside your RV rental or outside, as it can attract bears. Make sure you have appropriate food storage boxes with you to avoid issues.
You should always park your RV rental on paved ground and always avoid placing any part of it over vegetation.
If you are fishing inside the park, you will not need a license, but you will only be allowed to use artificial bait. No live bait is allowed.
If you are visiting during the winter months, you must have tire chains with you. You will not be allowed access to the park if you do not have chains with you.
From volcanic peaks to beautiful river valleys and old growth forest, Mount Rainier creates a wide range of environments to experience. Check out:
Save Money on Your Admission Fees
You may not be aware, but Mount Rainier National Park offers free admission days throughout the year! If you are looking to save some money on camping, you may want to consider timing your visit with one of these dates in 2022:
- Monday, January 17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 16 – First Day of National Park Week
- Thursday, August 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Saturday, September 24 – National Public Lands Day
- Friday, November 11 - Veterans Day