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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

Mount Rainier National Park - Camping and Day Hiking

The Basics:
Event Type:Camping
Event Location: Mount Rainier
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Aug 6 2022  4:00 pm >> Sun, Aug 14 2022 4:00 pm
Registration Opens: Mon, Mar 7 2022 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Mon, Apr 4 2022 11:59 pm
Event Duration:8 Days
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Trip Leader(s):
Bob Bunner
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$239.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:14
Minimum Group Size:12
Number Registered So Far: 14 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Mount Rainier was established as the 5th national park in the U.S. in 1899.  John Muir referred to Rainier as the noblest mountain along the pacific coast.  It is the 4th highest and the most topographically prominent mountain in the lower 48 at 14,411 feet.  With 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles of permanent snowfields and glaciers, Mt. Rainier glistens throughout the summer.

This trip will primarily explore two incredibly scenic and highly visited portions of the park.  For the first three nights of our trip, we will car camp at the Cougar Rock campground.  The campground itself provides hiking to the scenic Carter Falls.  But our trip will focus on the hiking options from the Paradise Visitor's center, about a 30 minute drive from our campsite, and the most visited area of the park.  At 5400 feet, Paradise provides tremendous views of what locals refer to as "the mountain."  There are a variety of trails that permeate from the visitor's center and overlook the adjacent Nisqually Glacier.  We will plan on hiking the Panorama Point/Skyline Loop trail that includes incredible views of the mountain while wading through an abundance of alpine wildflowers that will make you feel like you're in, well, "Paradise."  Our hiking itinerary will depend on the weather and whether the mountain is "out."  But expect to spend the better part of two days exploring the Paradise area.

On the fourth day, we will drive around the eastern side of the mountain and camp at the White River campground, our home for the next three nights of our adventure.  The campground is adjacent to the White River and provides access to the Emmons Moraine trail that parallels the river as it continues to the base of Rainier's largest glacier, Emmons Glacier.  A short drive from our campsite is the trailhead to Summerland, an epic subalpine meadow that was landscaped by elves.  We will also drive eleven miles to the Sunrise Visitor's Center to explore the trails at the second most popular area in the park.  The trail to Berkeley Park passes Frozen Lake and then descends to a beautiful mountain meadow full of wildflowers.  At the juncition near Frozen Lake, another trail option is to hike the Burroughs Mountains, which include three steep humps that provide jaw-dropping views of Rainier.

Your trip leader grew up in Seattle and has been camping at Mt. Rainier since he was 18 mos. old.  Since moving to Atlanta about 30 years ago, the trip leader has camped approximately 15 times for at least 3 nights within the park.

If you are planning to sign up for this event, please read the following carefully so that you know what to expect.

Saturday (August 6) - Fly into Seattle.  We have 7 rooms with two beds reserved at the Holiday Inn Express across the street from the airport.  The AOC fee includes sharing a room with another member.  We'll try to work things out so that members of the same gender will spend the night together, but if there are an odd number of males/females, we'll have to make do.

We will have to rent 3-4 cars.  The AOC fee does not include the cost of a car rental.  The trip leader will have his own car and room for one passenger and gear.  That means the remaining 12 of you will need to share the cost of renting enough cars to travel from Seattle to Mt. Rainier.  

None of your meals are included in the AOC fee.  We will be camping for six nights.  The trip leader will have his own car camping stove and a cooler.  As an option, all or some of you may choose to rely on the trip leader to create a menu for each night and share the cost of those meals.  Depending on how many of you choose the group meal option, we will need to purchase additional coolers to maintain perishables for the duration of the trip.  You're also welcome to form your own cooking groups and share the cost of food and purchasing additional coolers.  The trip leader's stove is available for everyone's use and he'll have plenty of propane for everyone.  You could also bring your favorite backpacking stove and cook nonperishables.  There are three restaurants within driving distance of Cougar Rock campground, including at least one that will make sandwiches to-go to enjoy while you are hiking.  There is also a snack bar located at Sunrise that provides lunch and dinner options, although it may be closed on certain days of the week.  After people have signed up for this event, the trip leader will schedule a meeting to discuss all options with the expectation that members will be able to commit to their preferred option shortly after this meeting.  We will also discuss the logistics for buying food and coolers when arriving in Seattle.  

Day 1 (Sunday, August 7): Drive from Seattle to Cougar Rock campground.  We have reserved group campsite 3.  Your AOC fee includes the campground fee.  We will spend 3 nights at Cougar Rock.  We will definitely fit in a day hike in the afternoon before returning to the campsite for dinner.

Day 2 (Monday, August 8): Drive to Paradise.  As previously indicated, the itinerary will be flexible depending on the weather.  If the weather is clear, we'll hike the Panorama Point/Skyline Divide trail, which is 5.5 miles with 1700 feet of elevation gain.  There are several additional hikes that start from Paradise if you want to further explore the area.  If the weather is cloudy, we may opt to hike to nearby 320 foot Comet Falls in the morning and then drive to Paradise.  It is likely that we will break into groups depending on how ambitious some of you are for a challenging hike.  We'll start out at the same place and meet back at a certain time.  There are multiple restaurant options at Paradise so you may decide not to pack a lunch.

Day 3 (Tuesday, August 9): Drive to Paradise.  There are several other hiking options.  An ambitious hike would be to drive about an hour to Stevens Canyon and hike a portion of the Wonderland Trail for 11.8 miles round trip for a grand view of Rainier.  Another 3.8 miles round trip will include a steep descent to Indian Bar, one of the prime camping destinations on the Wonderland trail, followed by the equally steep ascent, for a total round trip mileage of 15.6 miles and 3650 feet of elevation gain.

Day 4 (Wednesday, August 10): Moving day.  Drive to White River Campground.  White River is a first-come, first-serve campground with no group sites.  We will need to purchase 3-4 campsites for the remaining three nights.  Campsites are $20 each for each night.  The AOC fee does not include the White River campsite fee.  For budgeting purposes, if we purchase 4 campsites for three nights, that would total $360.  Each member would be responsible for paying about $26.  The trip leader and possibly others will likely need to drive to a town outside of the park to resupply with fresh groceries.  Those of you not burdened with grocery shopping may choose to hike the Emmons Moraine trail or drive to Sunrise.

Day 5 (Thursday, August 11):  Drive to Sunrise.  Hiking options: 5.4 miles round trip to Mt. Fremont, highest point 7,181 feet.  6.2 miles round trip to Second Burroughs Mountain with a high point of 7,400 feet.  7.8 miles round trip to Berkeley Park (lots of wildflowers) with a total elevation gain of 1600 feet.  7.2 miles round trip to Skyscraper Pass with a high point of 6,773 feet.

Day 6 (Friday, August 12): Drive to nearby Summerland trailhead.  Hike to Summerland 4.2 miles (one way) with 2,140 feet of elevation gain.  Another 4 miles (round trip) and 850 feet of elevation gain to Panhandle Gap at the top of Frying Pan Glacier.

Day 7 (Saturday, August 13): Morning hike from campground. Drive to Seattle.  We are again staying at the Holiday Inn Express across the street from the airport. The AOC fee includes sharing a 2 bed hotel room.

Sunday, August 14: Fly back to Atlanta.

Required Items to Bring:

Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad

Rain wear

Warm jacket (at this time of year, it could get down to around 40 degrees in the mornings)

Warm hat

Day pack including hydration mechanism (i.e., bladder or water bottles) - Day pack should be big enough to shed layers as the temperature during the day increases

Camp plate and utensils

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.



A hat or bandana to shade the top of your head

Portable stove if you plan on cooking on your own

Portable chair


Your AOC fee does not include the price of sharing a rental car, any or your meals, or the 3 night camping fee at the White River Campground.  Rental car prices have increased dramatically since COVID.  Seattle also charges hefty taxes on rental cars.  Ideally, you will share the cost of the rental car with 2-3 other members, depending on the size of the car you rent.  Expect to pay $250-$350 as each member's share for the rental car for the entire week.

The AOC fee of $239 is due on April 4, 2022.  If you cancel after that date, you will not receive a refund unless another member takes your spot and pays the AOC fee for this event.  In addition, any refund you receive will not include the 3% paypal fee.

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$239.00/Person
Cost Includes:

$10 per person AOC fee

Paypal fees

First and last night in a hotel with 2 beds

3 nights at Group campsite


Does not include airfare, rental car for a week, or 3 nights camping at White River campground.

Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Mon, Apr 4 2022.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.