Big Creek (Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Situated in the vicinity of majestic Mount Rainier, Big Creek is a family campground nestled among Douglas firs, hemlock, alders and maples. The lush vegetation offers plenty of privacy between sites.

The sites at Big Creek form a loop, with only a handful of sites sitting along the banks of Big Creek. Open from mid-May through late September, Big Creek provides an alternative to the campgrounds at Mount Rainier National Park, which can get very crowded during the summer.

The campground requires vehicles to have a relatively tight turning radius. Big Creek can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs, with a maximum vehicle length of 22 feet.

Some parking spurs are paved; others are native moss and dirt. Some sites have rocks or heavy vegetation, which may make it difficult to pitch a tent.

Drinking water is available, but there are no hot showers available onsite. Vault toilets are provided as well as a pedestal grill, fire pit and picnic table at each site.

Gray water disposal facilities are located throughout the campground.

Need to Know

Natural Features

Located in southwest Washington State, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest encompasses over 1.3 million acres and includes the 110,000-acre Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument established by Congress in 1982.

Big Creek is located in the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District, the northernmost portion of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This Ranger District manages four Wilderness Areas including the Goat Rocks Wilderness, Glacier View Wilderness, Tatoosh Wilderness and William O' Douglass Wilderness.

The Cowlitz Valley Ranger District is roughly located among three volcanic peaks: Mt. Rainier to the north, Mt. Adams to the east, and Mt. St. Helens to the west, providing visitors with a unique geological landscape.

Nearby Attractions

Big Creek is 6 miles from the Nisqually entrance of Mount Rainier National Park. The popular Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise is 21 miles away, and the nearby town of Ashford offers restaurants, along with a few art galleries and shops.

Recreation

Anglers can try their luck at catching brook trout in Big Creek or for those looking to explore the area, the Osborne Mountain Trail starts at the campground. The route is steep, but the scenery is amazing, and the trail can be traversed by foot, horse, mountain bike or dirt bike.

Changes & Cancellations

Changing Reservations:

There is no change fee if a visitor extends or shortens a reservation, as long as the change includes dates from the original reservation. Additionally, there is no change fee if the visitor wants to switch sites that are the same price with the same reservation dates in the same facility.

If a visitor wants to switch dates that are entirely outside of the original reservation dates, there is a $10 change fee.

If a reservation is made that includes dates beyond the maximum booking window, that reservation cannot be changed until 18 days have passed from the original booking date.

Once a reservation date has begun, visitors cannot change a reservation using the online system or through the Call Center. Onsite staff will assist with changes or cancellations.  

Cancellations:

Visitors may cancel their reservation prior to arrival both on-line and through the call center. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation.

A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's approved rate including tax and applicable add-on. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee.

Visitors who cancel a group overnight facility reservation less than 14 days prior to arrival date will pay a $10 service fee AND forfeit the first night’s rate.  

No-Shows:

A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date.

No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.  

Early Departures:

Visitors are requested to notify staff at the facility if they depart early to allow others to use the site.

If the visitor chooses to depart early, they may forfeit the approved rate and applicable tax and applicable add-on for the day of departure. If a visitor departs prior to the scheduled check-out date, they may be eligible for a partial refund. Visitors may notify the Recreation.gov call center to request a refund of remaining unused nights. If a visitor requests a refund for an early departure after the facility check-out time (12PM) has passed, the visitor will not be refunded for that night and is eligible for a refund on any additional nights that will not be used.  

Refunds:

Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Visitors may also initiate a refund request through the call center at any time after their reservation has ended.

Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay.

For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive. 

In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.

Contact Information

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ASHFORD WA 98304

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 541-338-7869

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From Ashford, WA, take Forest Road 52 approximately 5 miles to the campground.

Available Campsites

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