Ohanapecosh campground at Mount Rainier
The Ohanapecosh campground, in the southeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park, is surrounded by lush old-growth forest with the clear, blue Ohanapecosh River running through the campground.
This is my favorite place to camp at Mount Rainier due to the scenic river, rustic deep forest setting, and access to trails that lead to a waterfall and hot springs.
The term Ohanapecosh (origin: Taidnapam or Upper Cowlitz tribe) is thought to mean “standing at the edge” or “clear stream or deep blue”, likely a reference to the clear blue cascading water of the Ohanapecosh River. Learn more about the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.
Located at 1,914 ft. elevation, the Ohanapecosh campground has a longer open season than those at higher elevation within the park. It also provides good driving access to Paradise and Sunrise, the two most visited areas at Mount Rainier. A trailhead within the campground provides access to scenic hikes, including Silver Falls and the Grove of Patriarchs. This campground is extremely popular in the summer, so advance reservations are highly recommended.
The Ohanapecosh Hot Springs – the site of an early hot springs resort – are no longer the type you can soak in after being restored to their natural state, but they are an interesting geological feature to visit. Access the hot springs via a short trail near the Visitors Center.
- Location: Google map
- Campground info: Campgrounds at Mount Rainier National Park
- Area info: Ohanapecosh area – Mount Rainier National Park
- Campsite cost: $20 per night
- Season: late May to late September, depending on weather and/or road conditions
- Facilities: 188 campsites for tents or RVs (no hookups for RVs)
- Amenities: potable water, flushing toilets, picnic tables, fire pits, ranger-led activities in the summer
- Nearby town for supplies: Packwood (12 miles) – gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores
- Reservations: available up to six months in advance at Recreation.gov
Access to Mount Rainier National Park
The Ohanapecosh campground does not require a National Park pass to access. However, if you plan to visit the park, passes are available at the Stevens Canyon entrance (located a few miles north of the campground), or at the White River or Longmire entrances.
- Distance to Paradise via Stevens Canyon Road: 23 miles (45 minutes drive)
- Distance to Sunrise: 31 miles (1 hour 15 minutes drive)
Hiking trails near the campground
Take the incredibly scenic hike to Silver Falls via a trailhead located within the campground (on the west side of the bridge over the river). This trail parallels the Ohanapecosh River as it cascades down chunky basalt rock in several locations, including 75-foot Silver Falls.
Continue on the trail and cross the Stevens Canyon Road to access the Grove of Patriarchs trail (check for closures before heading out – the Grove of Patriarchs hike was closed in November 2021 due to flooding).
Learn more about day hiking at Mount Rainier.