24th Annual West Regional RPCV Campout

Dates: August 14-17, 2014 (Thursday through Sunday)

Place: Cougar Rock Campground, Mt. Rainier National Park

Hosted by: SEAPAX, the Seattle Area Peace Corps Association

This will be the 24th annual Regional RPCV Campout,  a family-friendly event which each year attracts RPCVS of all ages, all decades of service.  The Pacific Northwest  is the only region that holds RPCV campouts, which makes it extra special. Responsibility for hosting rotates each year among the groups in WA, OR and ID, and this year its the turn of SEAPAX to organize the event and provide the Saturday night dinner.

Now is the time for SEAPAX members to get involved! In addition to reserving your space in the group camp or individual RV sites, we need you to sign up for the campout committee. We need a full team to pull off the event for: meal planning, food shopping, gear provisioning, cooking, set up and clean up. You don’t have to be a camper to participate, and we welcome you to join us at the dinner; dinner-only sign-up is available on the main registration page. For non-campers who want to stay in the area, a variety of lodging is available both inside and outside the park, and it’s a nice summer day trip too.
  Please send a note to campout@seapax.org to let us know that you will be there, and how you can help out before and/or at the campout.

Campground details

We have reserved 2 group campsites, listed below, and you are welcome to stay for 1, 2, or all 3 nights.

Main campsite is group site F002, Loop F
Overflow campsite is group site F003, Loop F

You can check in as early as 12:00 pm noon on Thursday, August 14
Everyone must check out no later than  12:00 pm, noon on Sunday, August 17

Group sites are designed for tent camping only; RVs are not permitted in group sites although they are allowed in the regular campgrounds.

Registration information

Please register now, as space is limited. Here is the link for online registration and payment:   http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/666717
If you are not camping in the group campsites,  you can register  and pay for Saturday night dinner only.

Please note that the modest fee is the same for any length of stay, as SEAPAX is charged a flat fee for reserving the group camps.  Paid-up SEAPAX members  ( or those in 1st-year free status) receive a discount on the registration fee.  You can pay your SEAPAX dues online or by check ; see instructions on the website.

RV Information

RVs are not permitted in group sites; RV campers will need to reserve a space in the regular campgrounds. You can reserve sites at the Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Rock campgrounds by visiting the Recreation.gov web site. Max RV Length/Max Trailer Length – RV: 32 ft. Trailer: 27 ft. If you are not intending to stay in the group camp, consider making reservations early; sites fill up fast so reserve as early as possible.

Accommodations for non-campers

In the park: http://www.mtrainierguestservices.com/

Outside of park: http://www.rainiervisitorguide.com/Rainier-Lodges-Resorts-Inns.html

Overview

Cougar Rock Campground (map: http://goo.gl/maps/4VLJK), on the southwest side of Mt. Rainier National Park, is convenient to the Paradise area. Paradise is the most popular destination in the park, with a lodge and visitor center, many miles of hiking trails and a commanding view of the mountain-the highest in the state and Cascade range.

The main attraction at Mount Rainier National Park is the mountain itself, a massive glacier-clad volcano, peaking at 14,411 ft. and dominating the skyline for hundreds of miles. Visitors travel through majestic old-growth forests, past tumbling waterfalls and historic buildings to reach sub-alpine meadows, where world-famous wildflower displays bloom through July and August. Popular activities in the park include sight-seeing, hiking, rock climbing and camping.

Cougar Rock campground is located at an elevation of 3,180 feet. Summers are dry and cool with daytime temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees. Weather throughout the park can be variable, so visitors should come prepared. Cougar Rock Campground has one lookout point from which campers can view Mt. Rainier. The campground is adjacent to the Nisqually River and is surrounded by thick forests. A short drive to Paradise in summer reveals fields of lush wildflowers.

Cougar Rock is relatively rustic, but has drinking water, flush toilets and picnic tables at all 173 campsites. Visitors must use extra caution with food storage, as foxes and other animals have been known to frequent the campground looking for food.

Activities

Many hiking options are available from the campground and elsewhere; there are over 260 miles of trails in the park. Trails lead through dense forest and into openings with dramatic views of The Mountain. In the Paradise area, two popular trails include the Nisqually Vista Trail and the Bench & Snow Lakes Trail.

Ranger-led Junior Ranger programs for kids ages 6-11 are offered throughout the park on summer weekends. Have fun while learning about Mount Rainier and earn a Jr. Ranger patch! Check with visitor centers or in the park newspaper for where and when.

The Mount Rainier interpretive staff offers a variety of free programs, ranging from informal talks at park visitor centers to junior ranger programs for kids to evening campfire programs. Topics vary from day to day, and may include geology, wildlife, ecology, mountaineering, or park history. Most programs are available from late-June until Labor Day. Schedules are posted throughout the park, as well as in the park newspaper.

For more information:
http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/camping.htm#CP_JUMP_138393

Interactive park map:
http://www.nps.gov/common/commonspot/customcf/apps/maps/showmap.cfm?alphacode=mora&parkname=Mount Rainier

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