A very old campground situated among some very large, very old trees alongside the Cowlitz River. Flooding several years ago severely impacted parts of the campground, with some sites closed because of eroding river banks. Most of the sites have short paved areas, and it has some tight corners, so it is not friendly to large trailers and RVs. That is the bad of this campground.
The good part of La Wis Wis campground is that it is gorgeous. It is located in a deep canyon with a beautiful river flowing through it. Ospreys, ducks, and various river birds are common There are several large deep pools that are good for swimming, and the rapids are gentle enough to be floated in inner tubes.
While the campground in general is not great for large trailers and RVs, there are several double sites that can accommodate them and can handle large numbers of tents as well. Large family gatherings are common here. A, D, and E loops are along the river, but river access is difficult at most sites due to a high river bank. There is a loop called the Hatchery loop that is somewhat separated, but it was the most affected by flooding, and has been closed pending repairs. It also suffers from close proximity to the Blue Hole, a popular swimming and cliff diving hole that attracts a lot of day use, and although day users are not supposed to park there, many do. (There is a large gravelly beach close to the day use parking that has a great swimming.)
There is one short hike in the campground itself, Purcell Falls, that is short and unimpressive. It is a good campground for bicycles and walking, but for good hiking go to nearby Mt Rainier National Park, or look up the numerous hikes in the surrounding Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
-Submitted by a Muddy Camper User
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