Anticipating Washington camping, my only expectation was to see Mt Rainier rising from the plains, towering over everything, as depicted by often seen photos. I also thought that maybe we could get a clear day in Seattle and actually see Mt Rainier from a distance.
We did ! And that was nice, but that’s not all there is to Mt Rainier!
When Jo booked us into a campground in Packwood, WA, I didn’t know what to expect. What a surprise to find myself near the base of Mt Rainier, next to Mt Rainier National Park. I didn’t even know there was a Mt Rainier National Park, even though it is one of our oldest parks.
Our first drive into the park totally changed my expectations about Washington. We drove through mile after mile of dense, dark, old growth forests, growing from some of the steepest mountain-sides I have ever seen.
We drove along glacial streams with their cloudy, gray, water, typical of water melting off of glaciers. At one point an elk ran across the road in front of us.
We visited this incredible mountain many times during our first week of Washington camping. It seemed I just couldn’t see enough of it. Experiencing Mt Rainier has been one of our most memorable visits since retiring.
We camped in a nice little RV park in Packwood, WA during our time around Mt Rainier. It was a good base camp where we could drive to several different attractions within a short driving distance. One of the attractions was Mt. St Helens.
Mt St Helens
We spent a full day at the Mt St Helens park, viewing the mountain from many different perspectives. We also listened to a talk by a very informative Ranger about the events of the volcanic blast. The talk gave us great reference points, to help enable us to see more details of the blast effects while driving from viewpoint to viewpoint.
This was another high point in our Washington camping experience. It is definitely worth the drive through the mountains to the park.
For more info on Mt St Helens click here
Washington Camping – Seattle Area
We selected Mid-Way RV park for our base camp in the Seattle area. It is conveniently located “midway” between Seattle and Portland.
We left early one morning before the worst of the traffic for Seattle. We were able to park conveniently near the Space Needle so we could visit both the Space Needle and the Chihuly Glass and Gardens. We also wanted to drive around the city of Seattle before returning to our motorhome. It was a very long day. We arrived back at camp at 10:00 pm. The day was a great one, filled with lots of sights.
The Olympic Peninsula
One of the areas we both were looking forward to was the Olympic Peninsula. Part of the appeal was to be able to say we had traveled the Northwest as far as we could go. We found that point at Cape Flattery on Neah Bay.
Washington has become one of our favorite places after this extended visit. We are glad we came.