10 Must See Dispersed Camping Near Mount Rainier

Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by

Mount Rainier National Park is one-of-a-kind and breathtakingly magnificent site.

This amazing park is regarded as one of Washington State’s and the world’s most distinctive and picturesque locations.

This stunning park is the country’s fifth-oldest national park.

The glacier-capped volcano in the park’s core is what makes it unique and well-known.

Mount Rainier National Park also stands at 14,410 feet above sea level.

Inside Mount Rainier National Park, some beautiful sites and destinations will make your vacation memorable.

Mount Rainier

If you are interested in dispersed camping near Mount Rainier, we have compiled a list for you covering the best dispersed camping sites near Mount Rainier.

What are the Best Dispersed Camping Near Mt Rainier?

1. Mt Rainier National Forest Road

The Mount Rainier National Forest Road is operational from spring to autumn. The Mt Rainier National Forest Road allows you to stay for 14 days.

There are several campgrounds on the northern side of the road.

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Some people have made their own fire rings. A ranger in Mount Rainier National Park pointed us to this location.

During the winter, it is closed.

There are plenty of other dispersed camping locations along skate road before this one; go to this area only if you’re in a car with standard clearance; don’t try this in an RV.

However, it’s a great private site along the river, and Mount Rainier National Park is only 25 minutes away! Get there early if you hate sitting in traffic for an hour!

2. Carbon River

At Carbon River, the maximum suitable RV length is 30 feet.

Since it is so close to home, this is one of our highly recommended dispersed camping spots. Outside the ranger station are camping areas.

Come early in the day or early on the weekend if you want a nice spot.

The view is lovely, and it’s a wonderful spot if you don’t want to be too noisy. Because it is located next to the Carbon River, it may be flooded at certain periods of the year.

You will also find hiking trails nearby as well as a lake at a short distance up the road.

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3. Packwood WA NF

This dispersed camping area is located at the end of a road that appears to have formerly been a rock quarry that is still used as a shooting range occasionally.

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Tent camping and RVs can make use of huge flat areas. Unfortunately, they leave a little trash around, especially spent shotgun rounds and aluminum cans.

Drive a few minutes off Highway 12 in Packwood, WA, and you’ll find yourself not far from the busy forest service route 52/Skate Creek Rd.

There is a big open space with numerous dispersed camping spots where you can park your car or pitch your tent.

It’s quiet and serene outside. You will find no restrooms or other amenities along the forest road.

4. Iron Creek Dispersed Campsite

The Iron Creek Dispersed Camping Area is open all year.

This Mount Rainier National Park boondocking facility has 1 – 5 spots with a maximum RV length of 15 feet.

The Iron Creek Dispersed Campsite allows you to stay for up to 7 days.

This area is immediately beyond the Iron Creek campsite, which charges the services.

Take the US Forest Service road down to Mt. St. Helens, beyond the designated campsite. About a quarter-mile ahead of the charged campsite, towards the left, exists the Iron Creek Picnic Area.

Turn left along that road and continue for about a half-mile (100 yards) past the picnic spot.

You’ll reach a small bridge.

Before the tiny bridge, on the left, is the turnoff for the site. We do not suggest small cars or RVs/pull-campers due to the short but steep descent into the spot.

Three stone fire rings and three tent sites are available. Randle is 6 miles away and has very little traffic.

There are no adequate services available.

However, it is a fantastic location near the creek.

5. South Fork Tieton Dispersed Camping

The entrance road is dirt, 1-2 miles from the paved road. Around this area, there are 6-15 dispersed camping spots with a maximum RV length of 45 feet. It allows you to remain at the site for 14 days.

Amazing Mount Rainier National Park dispersed camping locations can be found about six miles eastwards of Rimrock Lake along the Tieton River.

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Take a right onto FR 1200 and travel about 1/2 mile before turning right into FR 580. Look for access routes towards the water on the right.

The initial dispersed camping areas are heavily used and a little tattered, so continue along with FR 580 for better options.

Expect some traffic noise because US-12 is situated on the opposite side of the water.

6. Bevin Lake Rest Area

The road leading to the area is completely paved. The Bevin Lake Rest Area is operational throughout the year.

The good news is that RV length is unlimited at Bevin Lake Rest Area. Bevin Lake Rest Area allows you to stay for up to 8 hours.

Approximately 15 miles away from Randle, off Rt. 12.

However, keep in mind that there is very little to do around the area.

According to the signs, you will have to reduce your camping to 8 hours.

Additionally, it has a lot of RV space for any size vehicle. Route 12 is relatively quiet due to the lack of truck traffic. Best of all, it’s rather vacant, which is unusual for rest places.

It’s a lovely picnic place with tables that are shaded. You’ll like your time here.

7. Mowich Lake Campground

The crystal-clear water can be downright hypnotizing, and the campground is one of the most picturesque spots in a park full of amazing panoramas.

You will be able to stare at the lakebed across clear water from a beachfront vantage point on a glacier-scoured boulder.

The campground at Mowich Lake is comparatively the tiniest among the 4 campgrounds inside Mount Rainier National Park’s limits. After the initial four or five miles, the road is unpaved and may be tough.

Additionally, this is a walk-in campground only, and no fires are permitted. Having said that, it may be the most immaculate and lovely site to pitch a tent you’ll ever see, with one of the most spectacular views of the mountain you’ll ever see.

8. Ohanapecosh Campground

Ohanapecosh is one of Mount Rainier’s most popular campgrounds.

It, actually, is the biggest of the park’s three structures. A large theater hosts fireside talks, and the visitor center is a terrific resource for learning about area treks and the natural environment.

When neighboring campgrounds are waiting for the snow to melt, the elevation of 1900 feet keeps it snow-free.

Don’t leave without visiting Paradise!

9. Cougar Rock Group Campground

Cougar Rock Group Campground exists close to the Paradise region.

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With a resort and visitor center, trekking paths, and fascinating sight of the peak, Paradise is the park’s most popular attraction. Mount Rainier National Park’s greatest attraction is the peak itself, a massive glacier-covered volcano.

It spreads over the skyline for miles at 14,400 feet.

Visitors pass through spectacular old-growth forests, falling waterfalls, and historic buildings on their way to sub-alpine meadows, where world-famous wildflower displays can be observed in July and August.

Sightseeing, hiking, mountain climbing, and camping are all the most loved activities in the park. At an altitude of 3,180 feet, the Cougar Rock area is located.

Summers are warm and humid, with temperatures during the day varying from 60 to 80 degrees.

10. White River Campground

White River campground is situated on the park’s eastern side, beneath Sunrise, and is named after the river that flows alongside it. Curves can be tight when tucked into a steep slope.

It is always first-come, first-served when the park is operational throughout the summer.

There are several built facilities in the White River National Forest, such as family and group campgrounds and picnic spots.

Please visit their websites to see each site for further information on the services that are offered.

Free dispersed camping is also available if you really want to go away from the noise of the city.


This article discussed all of the best dispersed camping sites near Mount Rainier. Considering the abundance of beauty around Mount Rainier, you will never fall short of suitable dispersed camping areas when you go out to find one.

You must pack all the necessities along and enjoy the camping.

We hope you’ve found all you need to plan for an amazing dispersed camping vacation near Mount Rainier, and we’re confident you’ll find the right spot for your next adventure!


Where is the best dispersed camping site near Mount Rainier?

Following are enlisted some of the best dispersed camping sites near Mount Rainier:

  • Mount Rainier National Forest Road
  • Carbon River
  • Packwood WA NF
  • Iron Creek Dispersed Campsite
  • South Fork Tieton Dispersed Camping
  • Bevin Lake Rest Area
  • Mowich Lake Campground
  • Ohanapecosh Campground
  • Cougar Rock Group Campground

Can you sleep inside your car at Mount Rainier?

According to the restrictions, you can only park at Paradise if you have a backcountry permit. Additionally, you are not permitted to sleep in your vehicle in any part of the park.

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About Ted Mosby

I am Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a Freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. I own a Forest River Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A Class A Motorhome. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.