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“Fresh Water Swimming & Camping... that's summer.”
Review of Alder Lake Park

Alder Lake Park
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Mt Rainier Day Trip from Seattle
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Reviewed November 5, 2012

Depending on where you're coming from and perhaps travelling to; Alder Lake is a good State (quasi-state really) facility. It is a certainly off major travel routes, but we chose to take it in as a stop-over travelling East to see Yakima, WA.

On this note; a word of warning... if you are travelling East or West between Olympia and Yakima, you will likely be passing through Mt Rainier National Park and Snoqualmie National Forest -- neither are RV friendly passages -- a lot of narrow windy roadways with dramatic shifts in elevation. We pulled a 3,600 kg (8,000 lbs) RV, and we laboured through the entire passage. Having said that, some of the views were spectacular.

Alder Lake is a dam reservoir in reality. As a result, low sloping grades around the perimeter is not something this lake offers. Access points are 'developed' and spread around the lake at various points. The lake is popular with power boaters (we didn't have a boat with us, so I don't know what the launch fees were) with a decent launch ramp and moderate truck/trailer parking (for fee).

The campground is located across a small road from the primary day-use picnic and swimming area. From any campground in this location, it would be a 2-min walk. The campground layout is standard loops, with cut-away pads (asphalt paved), gravel area with steel ring fire-pits. At the time we were there, wood burning was permitted. Wood was available for purchase as well. The majority of the pads were not long and level -- bring levelling pads for your RV. While these campground sites are cut-away, there was still a lot of light available. There were a few walking trails to explore, and if you're adventurous, I believe there are full lake perimeter trails.

The swimming area was a real positive for the hot days. A very large grassy area for picnics and sports is affronted by a man-made beach to the swimming area. Swimming was cool and refreshing. The kids had a great time trying to walk around the log swimming guard. The area also has a depth market, which the kids would climb, then do flips off of. We would spend good portions of the day at the beach. There are a few attractions to take in in the area - Northwest Trek Wildlife Park being one.

The closest food/ice is available in Eatonville. If you are looking for broader options there is a Wal-Mart in Graham (45 mins from the campground).

The campground is small, so ensure you have reservations. Driving all that way risking a no-vacancy would be frustrating. Once you're there, you and your kids will enjoy it.

2  Thank Team_Cisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 41 of 44 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2012

My family just spent a weekend camping at the Alder Lake Campground. The park is situated on Alder Lake and has a great day use, swimming and picnicking area in addition to the campground. The facilities are well-kept and are owned and managed by Tacoma Power.

Thank nwfireguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Alder Lake itself is beautiful as it is surrounded by forest and the slopes of Mt. Rainier. There are a decent amount of picnic sites with bbq grills that are first-come, first-served. The swimming beach is great for folks with younger kids, however my family chose to go off the beaten path and seek out a nicely shaded, more private entry to the lake for swimming. The water is cool and comfortable in August, but does tend to have a pretty muddy bottom...nothing a pair of slip-on sandals can't fix though. This lake is pretty popular with boaters and jet skiers, so swimmers need to be aware of the traffic and the wake the vehicles can cause. This is a great place to spend the day escaping from any occassional Puget Sound "heat wave."

Thank Ilovegr8Htls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

It was rather dirty and unkept. But it was in the height of the summer and packed full of people. The water and beach were very murky and full of mud and frogs galore.

1  Thank Kim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Alder Lake Campground (run by Tacoma Power Parks), it was beautiful and peaceful... lots of space for our kids to play hide and seek, climb trees, and even build a teepee fort. We love staying in a campground where there is room to roam and we're not stacked in like sardines... this campground is perfect for families wanting to encourage their kids to "get back to nature" and stop playing video games! The staff was helpful and friendly, the bathrooms were also in good condition. Thanks for a wonderful stay!

5  Thank cookinmomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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