Motors Allowed?
Easy / Class A
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Mowich Lake is the epicenter of Mount Rainier National Park's northwest side. It sits at the confluence of numerous popular hiking trails, and it is one of the main resting spots for those circumnavigating the giant volcano on the Wonderland Trail. The large* mountain lake's crystal clear waters and ease of access to numerous other incredible adventures makes Mowich Lake a natural attraction. Because it lies at nearly 5,000 feet, the lake's exhausting gravel access road, Highway 62, doesn't usually open until late June or even July. One you arrive, however, you'll quickly understand why the area attracts so many visitors.

If you are looking to paddle on the lake, drive as close as you can to Mowich Lake Campground at the lake's southern end. Unfortunately there is no a boat ramp, so you'll have to carry your canoe or kayak less than a hundred yards from the parking lot to the lake's put-in adjacent to the campground. The shallow waters on the lake's southern end, the tall old-growth noble firs lining the shore, and the adjacent peaks combine to keep the lake's waters ideally calm.

Hikes from the lake depart up to Eunice Lake and Tolmie Peak, to Spray Park + Falls, 5.1 miles down to Ipsut Creek Campground on the Carbon River, and 11.8 miles south along the Wonderland Trail to North Puyallup Campsites and Aurora Park.

Note: Motorized boats are prohibited and the lake is not stocked for fishing.

* Large enough. Mowich Lake, which covers an area of 118 acres, is the park's largest and deepest lake.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Campground at boat launch. Direct access to Mount Rainier hikes and backpacking.


Weekend crowds. No backcountry campsites. 17-mile gravel access road.


Campgrounds + Campsites
Picnic tables

Site characteristics: Water


Portage required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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