During the busy summer season at Mt Rainier, the National Park campsites are usually booked well ahead of time and the next best bet is to find a cozy campsite in the neighboring National Forest. Along Highway 12 in the south end of the park, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest has plenty to offer in this respect. Not all of the National Forest campgrounds play second fiddle to the well kept National Park campsites and La Wis Wis is a fine example of a premium National Forest campground. In fact, a little more peace and quiet might even be found in this place!
The La Wis Wis Campground is located deep in the Mt Rainier rain forest, so the camping experience will be amazing from the start! This is a large National Forest campground with paved roads and over 100 campsites. There is room for RV campers and trailers, however there are no hookups or dump station and there are size restrictions because of the deep woods terrain. This campground has a ranger station and a campground host organizes the check-in process, so it is best to check in with the concierge upon arrival. The best part is this campground is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest reservation system, so booking a stay online ahead of time will guarantee a cozy spot in the moss covered woods.
The location of La Wis Wis is ideal for touring Stevens Canyon Road in Mt Rainier National Park. The Ohanapecosh Visitor Center and Campground is just a few miles away inside the park border. The Ohanapecosh Campground is usually booked solid during the peak summer season and this is where La Wis Wis Campground comes into play. During the early autumn season, empty campsites are easier to find in both campgrounds and it can be a real tossup when selecting one or the other, because these are two of the most picturesque rain forest campgrounds at Mt Rainier.
During my autumn season visit, I took a look around at La Wis Wis and it sure was appealing, but the neighboring Ohanapecosh was half empty, so I jumped on the rare opportunity to actually camp inside a National Park for once in my life! Both campgrounds are great, but La Wis Wis actually has the edge in one respect. A very productive trout fishing river runs next to the La Wis Wis Campground and this is what place is most famous for. The moss covered Douglas Firs, Cedars and Hemlock Trees are as pretty as can be. This most definitely is Bigfoot country at its best, so be sure to check out this National Forest campground when making a Mt Rainier touring plan!
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