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Mowich Lake, Mount Rainier National Park

4.5
#8 of 11 in Nature in Mount Rainier National Park
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Mowich Lake is a lake located in the northwestern corner of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state at an elevation of 4,929 feet (1,502 m). The name "Mowich" derives from the Chinook jargon word for deer.
Access to the lake is provided by a 17 miles (27 km) long unpaved road which opens to vehicles in mid June to early July. Mowich Lake is also a busy campground during the summer with 30 walk-in tent camping spots. Bathrooms, tables, and trash bins are provided.

From the Mowich campground, hikers can reach the Wonderland Trail, Eunice Lake, Tolmie Peak, Spray Park, and Spray Falls. Old-growth trees, waterfalls, creeks, cliffs, and wildflower meadows are also located in and around the area.

Fishing is generally poor at Mowich Lake because the area is not stocked with fish and no habitat is provided for natural spawning.
This body of water was named Crater Lake in 1883 by the geologist Bailey Willis under the belief that it was formed in a volcanic crater, however I. C. Russell later wrote that the land was shaped instead by ice erosion. Willis concurred. Correspondents to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) proposed Mowich to avoid ambiguity with the well-known Crater Lake to the south in Oregon. Mowich Lake was designated the official name by the BGN in 1919. The name of its outflow Crater Creek remained unchanged.
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Mowich Lake reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
33 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We stayed here for a night to support someone who was doing the Wonderland Trails. Because he was backpacking, we had a site in the backpacker area. Half the sites are for backpackers and require... 
    We stayed here for a night to support someone who was doing the Wonderland Trails. Because he was backpacking, we had a site in the backpacker area. Half the sites are for backpackers and require...  more »
  • drive towards Carbon River entrance, thru Wilkerson, plus 14 miles on dirt road... SO WORTH IT! drive right to Mowich Lake, alpine lake! Spend the day (or use the trails to hike to Eunice Lake... 
    drive towards Carbon River entrance, thru Wilkerson, plus 14 miles on dirt road... SO WORTH IT! drive right to Mowich Lake, alpine lake! Spend the day (or use the trails to hike to Eunice Lake...  more »
Google
  • Amazing lake, water is crystal clear and very cold even in August. Plenty of trails ranging from moderate to hard. Be advised, the road to the lake is about 16 miles on unpaved and pretty rough.
  • I randomly decided to drive here a couple nights ago to watch 3 meteor showers. Wasn't disappointed, as I saw many fireballs streaking across the sky, but it's still polluted by the artificial light and the sky wasn't dark. Well maybe at first but as my eyes became adjusted, no. It's brighter than many other stargazing locations I've been to. I slept in the car, woke up at 5AM to stunning views. There were large snow patches on the ground. It's so interesting because the temperature has been 90oF and higher in most cities for a week. Lovely hike, peaceful water, wildflowers were in bloom.

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