Are you ready to experience the raw natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest? If so, take a trip out to Mount Rainier National Park! Sitting in the gorgeous state of Washington, Mount Rainier is a behemoth mountain that will take your breath away. But aside from gazing at the enormous skyscraping peak, the area offers plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts—especially if you’re traveling in a campervan!
In this post, we’ll talk about the reasons why Mount Rainier National Park is a perfect destination for traveling in your van. You’ll learn where to stop along the way, what activities to enjoy, and where to find the area’s best campgrounds!
About Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier is one of the most majestic peaks in the world. Soaring 14,410 feet into the sky, this incredible mountain can be seen from hundreds of miles away. Adventurers and outdoor lovers come from all over the planet to experience the natural wonder of this remarkable place.
Whether you enjoy exhilarating backcountry skiing or a relaxing weekend at a campground, Mount Rainier National Park has it all.
Where to Stop On the Drive Over
While outdoor adventure is around every corner within the park, you should stop at a few destinations on the drive over.
Check out these awesome points of interest below:
A northern drive towards Mount Rainier provides tons of incredible destinations to check out. If you’re coming all the way from California, consider stopping in Lake Tahoe, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Mount Shasta. These areas offer some of the best scenery in the country!
If you find yourself in Oregon, be sure to stop at these majestic locations: Crater Lake National Park, Mount Hood, and Multnomah Falls. Also, cruise through Portland for a delicious bite to eat!
Since Mount Rainier National Park is relatively close to the ocean, an eastern drive towards the area won’t take too long. However, there are still a few sweet destinations to visit. First, you have to stop at Olympic National Park. This area features massive glacier-capped mountains, diverse ecosystems, and old-growth temperate rainforests. Also, there are several places to park and camp in your van! For some beachy vibes, check out Owen Beach just north of Tacoma!
If you’re heading south towards Mount Rainier, adventure is found all over. For those skiers and snowboarders out there, Mount Baker and Steven’s Pass are great places to hit the slopes. If you want even more incredible views and outdoor adventure, head over to North Cascades National Park. We recommend driving along State Highway 20 to check out the fantastic scenery! There are plenty of hiking trails, overlooks, and lakes right off the highway!
Planning to drive west towards Mount Rainier National Park? If so, there are several exciting activities to enjoy. If you’re up for a breathtaking adventure, hike along the Mount Aix Trail. Once you trek up this mountain, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding area.
If you prefer hitting the water, stop by Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Coeur d’Alene Lake is a top destination for locals and tourists, offering awesome beaches and exceptional views. This mountain town is just a five-hour drive from Mount Rainier!
Experience the Wonder of Mount Rainier
Once you’ve made it to Mount Rainier National Park, you probably can’t wait to hit the trails, swim in the lakes, and experience everything this area has to offer!
Here are some of the leading activities to enjoy:
Hiking is arguably the best activity in Mount Rainier National Park. If you want to go deep into nature, experience phenomenal views, and get your blood pumping, you’ll have several exciting hiking trails to choose from. No matter your ability level, this national park has trails for everyone.
Take a look at some of the most beloved trails in the park, listed from easiest to most difficult:
- Nisqually Vista Trail
- Myrtle Falls Viewpoint via Skyline Trail
- Comet and Christine Falls
- Naches Peak Loop Trail
- Tolmie Peak Trail
- Skyline Loop Trail
- Burroughs Mountain Loop Trail
- The Wonderland Trail
If you enjoy mammoth-sized mountain peaks, steep inclines, and peaceful nature, then get out there and hit the trails! Several of these routes are easily accessible from nearby campgrounds!
Looking to hit the trails on two tires? While Mount Rainier is considered a hiking mecca, you can also find several top-of-the-line mountain biking adventures. Whether you’re looking for amazing views of glacier-filled peaks or relaxing rides through lush forests, this place has it all.
For an easy trek, ride along Lake Gorge Trail or Carbon Glacier Trail for a ride like no other. If you want something a bit more challenging, check out Emerald Ridge Trail or Mount Ruth.
With astonishing views around every corner, sightseeing is one of the top activities in Mount Rainier National Park. Furthermore, you don’t even have to get out of your vehicle to experience the area’s best views!
Here are some incredible sightseeing spots to check out within the park:
- Federation Forest State Park
- Mount Rainier Viewpoint
- Suntop Lookout
- Skookum Falls
- Reflection Lakes
If you enjoy amazing views, Mount Rainier is the place for you. Just one look at this enormous mountain can take your breath away!
For a relaxing day in the heart of nature, consider going fishing! With an abundance of lakes and creeks, fishing opportunities are found all over the park. You can even cast out your line while soaking in majestic views of the mountains!
If you want a peaceful day out the on the water, here are some of the area’s most popular fishing spots:
- Mowich Lake
- Dog Lake
- Bumping River
- Skate Creek
- Tieton River
- Mineral Lake
- Silver Lake
Nothing compares to fishing in this unique natural wonderland! Please keep in mind there are certain restrictions when fishing in the area. Check out the Mount Rainier National Park website for more information.
If you want to stay close to the action, consider vancamping in Mount Rainier National Park! You can find remote camping options or campgrounds with all the amenities. Some camping areas even have sensational views of Mount Rainier! If you’re looking to experience this park to the fullest, camping is the way to do it. The park has three campgrounds with a total of over 450 campsites!
Mount Rainier National Park is one of the most incredible places on the planet. While any visit to the area can be a trip of a lifetime, keep the following tips in mind to make the most out of your adventure:
- Expect crowds: Venture out in the mornings or evenings to escape the people.
- Know your destination: With five entrances to the park, it’s important to know where you’re going.
- Leave pets at home: Pets aren’t allowed on trails, in buildings, or in park waters.
- Drive slowly: With an abundance of wildlife and several winding roads, make sure to never speed and always be cautious while driving.
Keep these tips in mind to have the time of your life in Mount Rainier National Park!
Check out the following details about the area’s top attractions:
- Nisqually Vista Trail: Ashford, WA
- Comet and Christine Falls: Longmire/Paradise area
- Tolmie Peak Trail: Close to Carbonado, WA
- Skyline Loop Trail: Near Paradise Inn, WA
- Burroughs Mountain Loop Trail: Close to Paradise Inn, WA
- Cougar Rock Campground: Located 14 miles east of Ashford, Washington
- Ohanapecosh Campground: Found on State Route 123, four miles north of State Route 12.
- White River Campground: Located six miles east of State Route 410
- Mowich Lake Campground: Found six miles from the Mowich entrance along State Highway 165
Mount Rainier isn’t only about the popular destinations—you should also check out some hidden gems! Here are some off-the-beaten-path areas to check out:
- Rain Forest Nature Trail
- Grove of the Patriarchs
- Green Lake Trail
- Stevens Canyon Road
- Carbon Glacier Trail
Start Your Adventure With Rec Van!
If you’re looking to embark on a trip full of wonder and excitement through Mount Rainier National Park, Rec Van is here to help! We’re happy to sell a wide variety of top-of-the-line campervans.
Check out our available vans today to find the perfect option for your next outdoor adventure!