Mowich Lake, Mount Rainier National Park

#9 of 11 in Nature in Mount Rainier National Park
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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.
Our Mount Rainier National Park online sightseeing planner makes visiting Mowich Lake and other Mount Rainier National Park attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
Create an itinerary including Mowich Lake
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Mowich Lake reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
32 reviews
  • 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 »
  • The drive in will destroy your car. It's cold, no bathroom, no views, absolutely terrible. Crowded with rude families  more »
  • Such a beautiful place, but filled with people that have no respect for the land. Stomping for all the flowers and feeding wildlife. So unfortunate.
  • Love this place! Great trails, gorgeous lake, decent camping. I've always loved camp robber birds. They'll eat from your hand which has always been fun for me.
  • Build a trip
    Tell us where and when you
    want to go, we will build
    the best sightseeing itinerary
  • Refine it
    You have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
  • Book as a package
    Use our travel agents to get
    package savings and hassle free booking
  • Enjoy your trip!
    Enjoy our 24x7
    on-trip assistance