Sunrise Visitor Center – Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier has been a favorite for us during our time in the PNW. We visited many times during our time there, but never got a good view of the mountain from Sunrise Visitor Center, until this summer! (check out our quick video here!)

About the Logistics

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours and 11 minutes (Seattle to Sunrise Visitor Center)

Camping: White River Campground is first come first serve. By leaving early on a Friday we were able to grab one of the last sites at the campground.

Cost: $30 cash per night – primitive camping. RV hook up spots are available.

Location: White River Campground and Sunrise Visitor Center are on the Eastside of Mt. Rainier National Park.

Notes: Sunrise Visitor Center is only open during the warm summer months as the road shuts down due to snow every Winter.

The Campground

We were able to grab one of the last campsites available and quickly set up camp. Our tent is always a quick set up as the poles just snap together.

We always set up the eating area with water when we car camp.

Note: Always keep your food put away in bear country!

The campground has flushing toilets, sinks with running water, and dumpsters for trash. It is also close to the White River which makes for nice walks around the campground.

Sunrise Visitor Center

Driving up the switchbacks provides beautiful views up to the visitor center. We were lucky to have such clear weather to see the mountains for miles.

Mt. Rainier was peaking out for a little bit on our way up through the rocky shale.

Once we got to the top we were able to find parking very easily. We applied sunscreen and started our journey!

We then made our way over to one of the gentle walking trails to get a better view of the wild flowers and mountain views.

The dirt trail works its way upward and has stairs for the steep parts of the trail. It looks much steeper than it actually is. We only walked a short portion of the trail and were still able to see some amazing sights.


On the way down we had views of the mountain in the rearview, and saw so many trees!

While Sunrise is often the Visitor Center that gets less visitors, it really was worth the extra drive over. We enjoyed getting to see our infamous peak from a different angle with less people and more parking spaces. This was definitely a 10/10 experience for us!

Much love,


Author: Chelsea Yell

I write for fun and to keep up with memories I make with others.

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