Cougar Rock Campground at the base of Mt. Rainier is by far the prettiest campground we have experienced, aside from our favorite called Gros Ventre in Jackson Hole, WY. It is the first on this trek where we are fully unplugged. There are very few places I imagine now where there is no cell service and what a gift to ourselves. Although we did not get nearly the time I wanted there to take in the trails, we made it nonetheless. That’s part of the sacrifice of being on the road. We can’t do everything we want to do. Some places are just out of reach no matter how close you actually are. The intent was to see the mountain and camp at its base which is exactly what we did, nothing more, nothing less.
We have difficulty estimating our time of arrival everywhere. This is mostly due to it takes more time than we intend to do everything… to pack up, to stop for fuel, to get the dog to do her business. Time is on our side for most excursions, but I had hoped we would feel it slow down at Cougar Rock. We made a quick stop at the base camp store and bought up tshirts as if we had made the summit ourselves.
Our campground was about 15 miles into the park and what a pretty wooded spot.
Little feet (Parker) was pretty spent by the time we pulled in so hiking was not an option based on the feedback we got from others making their way off the trail. Again, our Cleo was not allowed so I had to walk her back.
By the time I had returned, I had my family waving me down to the creek bed for a photo where they were set up with a clear view of the top of Mt. Rainier in our background. Mission accomplished. (Picture is of the river bed below Mt. Rainier because the actual photo described is being saved as a possible option for our Christmas card).
We were exactly on time for this moment of clouds clearing to have our family gather close to take the photo we had driven over 2,700 miles for.
I may not have had my hike, but I got my photo.