Alder Lake Park is a staple summer resource for residents and for travelers on their way to Mount Rainier National Park. Created by the construction of the 300-foot Alder Dam in 1945, this enormous reservoir is well equipped to handle the summer crowds it inevitably receives. In addition to day use amenities such as picnic shelters, boat ramps, and playgrounds, the 161-acre park that spreads out on the north shore of the lake from the dam east to Sunny Beach Point is home to four campgrounds; an additional campground is located at Rocky Point, bringing the total number of campsites on Alder Lake to 173.
The Main, Osprey, and Elk Plain campgrounds are located in the main section of Alder Lake Park near the park entrance. Sixty-two dedicated tent sites are distributed between the Main Campground and Osprey Campground (which is entirely tent camping). Including Rocky Point, you'll find 37 sites with full hookups and 74 sites with water and electric. In addition, the group camping area is it's own entity, and there are site options ranging from primitive to full hookup.
Generally speaking, the sites are spacious and generously distributed for such a large campground. Several sites sit among trees, and even the more exposed sites have enough space around them to feel autonomous. Small touches such as dish cleaning stations and lighting through the campground make your stay a little easier, but also certainly less rustic. Fire rings and picnic tables are in every site, and you'll find potable water easily accessible throughout the campground. Showers are coin operated. You can make reservations for any site in Alder Lake Park up to 9 months in advance if you will be staying between May 15 and September 15, and all sites are first-come, first-served the rest of the year. Note that some access points to the reservoir close when water levels fall.