10 Family Camping Hotspots


Mount Rainier, Wash.

The majesty of Mount Rainier is worth a trip to Washington.
The majesty of Mount Rainier is worth a trip to Washington.
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Majestic beauty abounds at Mount Rainier, the most arresting peak in the Cascade mountain range. Experience everything here from sub-alpine streams and tundra to wildflower meadows and a 700-foot-thick glacier. It's a playground for the whole family, whether you and the kids like to climb, bike, hike or fish, or even go boating or snowshoeing during the winter.

Mount Rainier has five campgrounds; all are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but two take reservations. Check the Mount Rainier National Park Service Web site before going, as some sites only allow tent camping, no vehicles.

If you prefer a little more privacy and enjoy the raw beauty of nature (away from bathrooms and dump sites for campers' trash) consider heading out into the wilderness, instead. After all, camping doesn't get much more scenic. This kind of camping is the real deal -- and so are the bears. Bring supplies to hang your food; you don't want to tempt the area's furry friends who might go scouring for a midnight snack! A permit to camp overnight in the wilderness here is required, and permit pick-up locations vary by time of year.