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With 173 individual sites and 5 group sites, along with a variety of nearby attractions, there is something here for just about everyone.
The campground itself sits at a bend in the road just up from the Nisqually River and, although it is a large facility, its layout gives each site a sense of privacy that is difficult to find in other camping areas of its size.
The historic buildings at both areas stand as reminders of park history and development, while the new Henry M.
Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise (built in 2008), offers excellent displays and dynamic presentations that bring nature and history alive for travelers of all ages.
Most of the individual sites are separated from each other by comparatively large green spaces, and the towering trees in between serve as buffers, lending a sense of privacy and quiet that might not be found elsewhere.
Cougar Rock is open for camping from May to October and individual sites go for a night (2012) with a maximum stay of 14 days.
Although there are some specific sites that are set aside on a first-come, first-served basis, reservations are heartily recommended, especially during peak use weekends.
Most of the sites have excellent leveled tent areas and concrete fire platforms, along with picnic tables and ample parking.
There are many things we know and don’t know about cougars in the Midwest, Dr.
Clay Nielsen of Southern Illinois University Carbondale said during his Endangered Wolf Center Speaker Series appearance Jan. Cougar confirmations have increased considerably, he said in his presentation titled “Increasing Presence of Cougars in the Midwest.” Since August 2003 there have been 150 cougar confirmations in the Midwest.
The trail to nearby Carter Falls (a section of the Wonderland Trail), is among the most popular in the immediate area and is the best choice for hikers staying at Cougar Rock.