Mt. Rainier National Park Journals

Mount Rainier National Park for FREE

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A travel journal to Mt. Rainier National Park by lcampbell

Mount Rainier National Park Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington More Photos
Quote: Because I worked as a Park Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park for 2 summers, I can tell you how to see it for FREE! I will concentrate on the east side of the Park, since this is where I worked, with Packwood, Washington as the "base."

Mount Rainier National Park for FREE

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Overview

Mount Rainier Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Quote:
This journal is for those who want to camp, hike, and backpack at Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP) for free. It is intended for folks who like to rough it in the truest sense of the word (meaning, you must be comfortable peeing in the woods!) I am making Packwood, Washington sort of the "base" for seeing Mount Rainier and surrounding area. Packwood was at one time a successful logging community. But in recent years the logging company went out of business leaving many folks unemployed. Many left the area, and what remains is a small rednecky town of about 300 (I’m guessing) people, which has not really turned to tourism at all. Packwood has minimal gas, food, and lodging, and ...Read More

Cheap Dining in Packwood

Restaurant | "Cheap eats in Packwood, WA"

Quote:
OK, I couldn’t come up with free food, but this is close! The Blue Spruce is a bar on the main drag in the town of Packwood. On Wednesday nights they have Taco Night, which is 3 tacos for $1.50! Beware: the bar is smoke filled, the food is greasy, and the service is bad. And the locals will probably look at you funny. But you can get cheap eats and play a couple games of pool. Ma and Pa Rucker’s is a hamburger/ice cream shop on the main drag in Packwood. My favorite is the calzones. You pick out what you want in them and they are made to order. They are HUGE and are maybe $6. And ice cream and candy – yummy! There is a grocery store across from the Blue Spruce. It is small bu...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 8, 2001

Cheap Dining in Packwood
Highway 12
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Camping at North Fork Campground

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Attraction | "Free Camping"

Camping at North Fork Campground Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Quote:
There is no free camping inside Mount Rainier National Park, but there is plenty on surrounding Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Free camping is allowed on Forest Service land in certain areas. It is called "dispersed camping" and basically means that you can camp almost anywhere you want to along unpaved Forest Service Roads. I usually find these "free areas" by driving down various Forest Service roads and looking for spots where you can tell people have camped before (no vegetation where they park and usually a rock fire ring –sometimes they even leave firewood!). There can be numerous of these "campsites" grouped together, which means less privacy, or you may find a solitary sight in the middl...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2001

Camping at North Fork Campground

Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park

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Attraction | "Hikes outside the Entrance Station"

Mount Rainier National Park Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Quote:
This section is on hiking trails that you can do in Mount Rainier National Park without going through the Entrance Stations of the park, meaning no $10 entrance fee. But just because the hikes are outside the Entrance Stations, don’t think that they are not high quality. These are great hikes! Silver Falls/Grove of the Patriarchs – Start at Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. Hike is 3 miles round trip to Silver Falls, a small but pretty falls on the Ohanapecosh River. Hike is about 5 miles round trip if you continue past Silver Falls to the Grove of the Patriarchs. I highly recommend seeing the Grove. Basically, it is an island in the middle of the Ohanapecosh River. About 400 years ago there wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 8, 2001

Mount Rainier National Park
55210 238th Ave. East
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington 98304
(360) 569-2211

Mount Rainier National Park

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Attraction | "Hiking at Sunrise"

Mount Rainier National Park Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Quote:
Hikes in the Sunrise area are all in the subalpine and alpine tundra – which makes for great wildflowers and great views. Some hikes are: Mount Freemont fire lookout tower – 5.5 miles round trip, 1200 elevation gain. Great views of Mount Rainier and surrounding peaks. Sometimes there is a ranger at the tower to give folks an orientation. I have been to Mount Freemont when you are actually above the clouds – so the people down below and at Sunrise cannot see Mount Rainier, but you can see it as well as the tops of peaks that stick out above the clouds. Burroughs Mountain – 5 miles loop if you only do First Burroughs. Add on Second and Third Burroughs to get closer to Mount R...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 8, 2001

Mount Rainier National Park
55210 238th Ave. East
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington 98304
(360) 569-2211

Backpacking the Northern Loop Trail

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Attraction

Backpacking the Northern Loop Trail Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Quote:
Backcountry permits are required to backpack at Mount Rainier National Park. Permits are free of charge if you get them first come, first serve. The park only charges a fee if you want to reserve a site ahead of time. You can pick up permits the day before you want to backpack, or on the day of. It is best to be flexible and not get your heart set on only one certain site. On the east side of the park, you can pick up permits at Ohanapecosh Visitor Center, Ohanapecosh Ranger Station, or White River Wilderness Information Center. My favorite backpacking trip at Mount Rainier (and I’ve done quite a few) was the Northern Loop trail. It is a 36 mile loop, with a TON of elevation gain and loss....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 8, 2001

Backpacking the Northern Loop Trail
Mount Rainier National Park
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Sunrise Photo, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Quote:
Getting through the Entrance Stations without paying is easy. All you have to do is go really early in the morning (I would say before 7:00 a.m. or so). This is not illegal, and it is NOT frowned upon by park employees. The park is open for people to come and go 24 hours a day, and the park chooses only to staff the Entrance Stations during the busiest time and to allow folks coming at other times to have free entrance. Simple as that. P.S. They do not check cars that are leaving the park, so once you are in you can stay as long as you want. So should you feel guilty about not paying the Entrance Fee even though you are using the park? In my humble opinion (and I worked in the Entrance boo...Read More