National Parks in Washington State to Visit
Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park are all found in the state of Washington. With so much natural beauty, visiting in your Bowlus offers you the ability to enjoy all of the majestic scenery without giving up any of the comforts of home.
Each of these national parks has a special place in our hearts, so make sure to visit them individually or as part of a larger Washington national park road trip. When you travel in your own luxury travel trailer, the world is at your fingertips.
Mount Rainier National Park
Have you ever camped near an active volcano? When you visit Mount Rainier National Park, you can check that off your bucket list!
It’s difficult to pick a favorite trail from all the options in the national park, which span from two miles to over twenty. However, the general consensus among hikers is that the Skyline Trail hike, a moderate to difficult six miles round trip, is the best among them. Featuring stunning subalpine wildflowers, the ability to get up close and personal with Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier, and the potential to see as far as Mount Hood in Oregon when the sky is clear, make this one of the most beautiful hikes in the state. Prepare to take plenty of pictures.
While the park is named for the volcano, it is full of many other natural wonders as well. Make sure that you don’t miss Ohanapecosh, which is in the southeast corner of the national park. It has hot springs, multiple waterfalls, and trails that will lead you through an old-growth forest.
It’s a great place for hiking, fishing, and exploring. It’s also full of history, so make sure that you check out the visitor center to see all of the artifacts that have been unearthed on site. If you happen to find one while visiting, leave it in place and find a park ranger.
While there are multiple campgrounds to choose from, we like the Cougar Rock Campground in the southwest portion of the park. There are 173 sites to choose from, winding through the forest and providing the camper with plenty of privacy. The campground is luxury travel trailer friendly, but there are no hookups so be prepared to do some off-grid camping. But don’t worry… when you travel in your Bowlus, electricity isn’t something you need to think about. It was designed with that kind of flexibility in mind.
You also won’t have to worry about where to eat when you visit the park. With a fully functional kitchen that includes multiple gas burners and stainless steel countertops, you’ll be able to bring everything you need with you to cook incredible meals without having to light a single campfire (unless you want to). And with ample cabinet and drawer space and a highly efficient fridge and freezer, you’ll be able to bring along any ingredients that you need. You can cook either inside or out, giving you the freedom to choose both what and how you eat.
And don’t worry… the last eruption cycle at Mount Rainier ended about 1,000 years ago.
North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park is one of the least visited parks in the country, but people don’t know what they’re missing out on. The park is absolutely beautiful and is home to more than 300 glaciers!
The Cascade Pass Trail is our favorite hike to take in the park. The scenery is unparalleled and, at seven miles roundtrip, it’s a hike with a big ‘wow’ factor. It’s also not a tough hike, making it accessible for new hikers interested in pushing themselves a little more. In the shadow of the Johannesburg Mountain, you’ll get to see plenty of impressive peaks and glaciers. There is also plenty of wildlife, although it is recommended that you avoid feeding the chipmunks, as human interference has made them obese.
If you’re interested in a little bit of history, make sure that you check out the Desolation Peak Trail, which was made famous by writer and adventurer Jack Kerouac. It isn’t a hike for the faint of heart, as it’s challenging and difficult to reach. But once you get there, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of multiple mountains, a glacier, and the stunning Ross Lake. It was so beautiful that Kerouac spent 63 days there in 1956.
If you’re looking ahead to visiting the park with your Bowlus, reservations are always a great idea. Newhalem Creek Campground, which can be reserved up to six months in advance, is surrounded by forests and hiking opportunities. It’s also close to the Skagit River, and it offers opportunities for salmon viewing.
The sites are primitive with no electrical hookups, which is great for people camping in a Bowlus. You won’t even notice the lack of electricity with its impressively large lithium-iron phosphate batteries allowing you to spend up to two weeks off-grid while still using the microwave and outlets.
The Goodell Creek Campground is a good option for people who are more spontaneous because it is first-come, first-served. It is also a bare-bones campsite, but you won’t even notice the difference. The best part about traveling with a Bowlus is you’ll be able to take your own shower with you wherever you go. Don’t underestimate the power of a long, hot shower after a full day of hiking.
You also won’t need to worry about the strict food storage requirements when visiting the park, as your food will be kept safe inside your private, secure luxury travel trailer.
Olympic National Park
The scale of Olympic National Park is unparalleled. It’s an awe-inspiring million acres of land. With so much space to explore and a variety of different ecosystems to see, it’s possible to have a different experience every time that you visit.
The outdoor activities that you can take part in are nearly endless.
When it comes to hiking, our personal don’t-miss is the Ozette Triangle Loop Trail. At just under ten miles, it’s the perfect hike to see what the Washington coast has to offer. It is considered a moderate to difficult hike, and the highlight is the beautiful, crystal clear Lake Ozette.
Kalaloch Beach is one of the best beaches in the area and features some great activities. The beach is home to thousands of different species of marine life and is the best area in the park to go tide-pooling. When the tide is out, you’ll be able to walk the shore and see many of those species up close and personal. There’s also a chance to see other marine mammals like otters. Keep in mind that the area is a designated marine sanctuary, so don’t attempt to touch anything. Kalaloch Beach is definitely a don’t-miss for people visiting the national park.
As far as campgrounds go, there are plenty to choose from. Our favorite is the Sol Duc Hot Springs Campground. It is located next to the Sol Duc River, with easy access to multiple hiking trails as well as hot spring pools. The campground also has electrical hookups, which aren’t required for your Bowlus luxury travel trailer but can be nice for longer trips. Sites at the Sol Duc Hot Springs need to be reserved in advance to guarantee space, especially during the busy season.
If you’d prefer to do more off-grid camping, the Mora Campground is perfect. Located just three miles from Rialto Beach, the campground does not require reservations ahead of time (outside of the peak seasonal months). There are no hookups, which is great for the self-sustaining Bowlus. When you can go for up to two weeks off-grid without relying on electrical hookups, there is an extra level of freedom. It’s just a small part of what makes our luxury travel trailer so great for any vacation, big or small, on the grid or off.
Each of the three national parks that are located in the state of Washington is amazing in its own way. Taking in the size and beauty of the active volcano in Mount Rainier National Park, walking the trail that Jack Kerouac traveled in North Cascades National Park, or seeing as much as possible of the million acres that make up Olympic National Park… the only thing that would make any of those adventures better is doing them in your Bowlus.
Experience the ultimate in beauty and luxury with your travel trailer in Washington’s National Parks.