Enumclaw, WA 98022, Mowich Lake Patrol Cabin However, is good to remember that the Wonderland traverses a rugged wilderness environment, with all its inherent risks and dangers. It is on many a backpacker’s bucket list! Cougar Rock and White River Campgrounds are full-service campgrounds (flushing toilets) with campsite fees of $20 each. This 16 miles stretch of trail takes offers a high elevation alternative to the low elevation Ipsut Creek section of the Wonderland Trail. signing up March 15 five seconds after the reservation page goes live will give you the same chance of getting a permit as applying on March 31 – happy birthday, me). When you apply for a permit you’ll have to choose the campsites that you’d like to sleep at. Rainier in Mt. The Wonderland Trail explores the glacial valleys and volcanic ridges fanning outward from Mount Rainier. To help you build your itinerary and pick out campsites, look at the elevation gain or loss between sites. The Spray Park Trail is 7.8 mi / 12.6 km long and bypasses 8.5 mi / 13.7 km of the Wonderland Trail – making it 0.7 mi / 1.1 km shorter. Subscribe to my Newsletter for New Posts and Exclusive Content! 35415 Fairfax Forest Reserve Road East Wilkeson, WA 98396. Most camps have group sites for parties between 6 and 12 people. The Wonderland Trail has eighteen trailside wilderness camps and three non-wilderness camps. Here are some of my favorite snacks/meals from the trail: I'm always looking for new (and especially healthier) backpacking meals and snacks. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting a Wonderland Trail permit. Your time on the Wonderland Trail will be split above and below the tree line – which is 6,500 to 7,500 ft (1,980 to 2,286 m) in Mount Rainier National Park. This is America, people here don't believe in public transportation. I ended up hiking for a couple of hours in the dark. USPS, UPS, or FedEx, Mount Rainier National Park Eighteen trailside camps, 3 to 7 miles apart, are located along the Wonderland Trail. Avoiding Wild Animals, Insects, and Injuries, Poncho Vs Rain Jackets for Hiking: Pros and Cons, guide to avoiding bear encounters while hiking, How to Get a Wonderland Trail Walk-Up Permit. The closest Wonderland Trail camp is probably Nickel Creek. On this amazing adventure, we’ll run the entire Wonderland Trail, all the way around Mt. Regardless of which way you decide to hike, you will be doing a lot of climbing (and descending). They have a nice restaurant and a lounge area where you can relax by the fire. Because of rodents (the threat is real, one got into my car at Mowich Lake Campground), all food caches are required to be in a plastic and clearly labeled container. There is really no reason to stay here unless all of the nearby camps are booked up. Carbonado, WA 98323, Mount Rainier National Park My Favorite Underrated Campsite On The Wonderland Trail This is a little throwback post for the Nature Writing Challenge that takes me back to my hike of the Wonderland Trail back in 2015… I remember when I as planning my hike and itinerary, the decision on which campsites … make healthier decisions) and I think I did a solid job fueling my three-day circuit of the Wonderland Trail. The Spray Park Trail is a popular alternate route for Wonderland Trail thru-hikers. This would be a great place to stay the night before you start your hike or for a rest day in the middle of your hike. Critics say this unduly limits backpacking , while other praise the policy and suggest it provides a superior wilderness experience for both day hikers and backpackers. Hiking this route takes you through all the beauty that the national park has to offer in one trip. Spray Falls (via the Spray Park Trail) is also a popular day hike from Mowich Lake Campground. More on this hike here. The Trail Crew clearing a large tree from the Wonderland Trail . Probably, yeah. Hiking the Wonderland Trail is not a dangerous activity. There is a $20.00 reservation fee if made in advance. Here are some example itineraries (all going clockwise): As discussed in the permit section above, you can also hike the Wonderland Trail without in permit if it's done as a three-day trip: Most people would probably consider the Wonderland Trail a long-distance backpacking trip, and so it's generally recommended that you pack appropriately for what could be an adventure of up to 15 days (if you're really taking advantage of those 14 nights allowed by the permit). Use this unofficial tool to plan your hiking itinerary for the Wonderland Trail. Worried about getting lost? Get the, If you're hiking in the middle of the summer (i.e. 1 NPS Warehouse The Wonderland Trail is popular for a reason – it's a beautifully maintained trail around an impressive and imposing mountain (that's Mount Rainier, in case you're somehow reading this and don't already know this). Rainier National Park, is one of the world’s most dramatic and scenic trails. Under each campsite name, I list the elevation, distances to the nearest sites, facilities, terrain, and more. A handful of camps have a shelter. I’ll also outline the camps of the Spray Park Trail and the Northern Loop in case you decide to hike an alternate route of the Wonderland Trail. NOT ALL CAMPS HAVE GROUP SITES. If you are mailing food ahead to yourself, here are the addresses for each of the locations (NOTE: not all locations accept USPS, UPS, and FedEX – confirm the address and shipping method before sending out your resupply). There is really no reason to stay here unless all of the nearby camps are booked up. Generally, the campsites on the Wonderland are large spaces a little bit off trail, and well-signed. Most camps have group sites for parties between 6 and 12 people. These permits can be issued the same day as your trip's start date or one day before – no earlier. If you don't know what you should be packing for a trip like this, you probably shouldn't be hitting the Wonderland Trail, but there are a few things that are worth highlighting/pointing out just in case. I usually carried about 2 liters just to be safe. Will we find a campsite at Mt. The nearest Wonderland Trail wilderness camp is Paradise River. This improves your chances of getting a permit. Mar 30, 2020 - Explore Melissa Franz's board "Wonderland Trail" on Pinterest. Parties with 6-12 people will need a camp that has a group site. America the Beautiful National Parks Pass, National Geographic Mount Rainier National Park Trail Map, Mountain House Fusilli Pasta with Italian Sausage, The Wonderland Trail (Mount Rainier National Park), The Pacific Crest Trail Gear Guide: Class of 2019 Survey, Guide to Hiking The Western Arthurs Traverse in Tasmania, Guide to Hiking Frenchmans Cap in Tasmania, Guide To Hiking The Overland Track In Tasmania, The Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hiker Survey (2019), I began my hike at Mowich Lake Campground which features a, The most popular time for hiking the Wonderland Trail is from, White River Wilderness Information Center (, Remember that there are a handful of campsites you can stay at, For walk-up permits, remember that unclaimed Wonderland Trail, Cougar Rock Campground clockwise to Mowich Lake Campground: ~36 mi / 58 km, Mowich Lake Campground clockwise to White River Campground: ~26 mi / 42 km, White River Campground clockwise to Cougar Rock Campground: ~33 mi / 53 km, You know what are awesome? Basically, the Spray Park alternate is slightly shorter, adds a fair amount of climbing, and is more scenic than the official Wonderland Trail. The sites are first come, first serve. Longmire, WA 98397 Ohanapecosh Camp lies a few miles off of the Wonderland Trail. Box 423 The closer to the park you get, the easier (presumably) it will be to score a ride. The permit people get for the Wonderland Trail allows for camping in the backcountry; there's no permit needed for hiking during the day. Some have even less. Each Wonderland Trail wilderness camp is equipped with a basic bathroom, bear hang or bear box for storing food, and flat sites where you can set up your tent. When the trail is not climbing one ridge, it is descending into the next valley. Thanks for your comments re the wonderland trail. I hiked the Wonderland Trail over three days in September and had one day of rain, one day of clouds, and one beautiful day of most glorious sun. Also consider the distance between camps. Unlike other trails in the Pacific Northwest, the Wonderland Trail doesn’t just require a permit, it also requires you to choose your campsites in advance of your trip. Enjoy the views on the trail. Consider this as you plan your hike. With over 23,000 ft / 7,010 m of elevation gain (although my GPS recorded 25,293 ft / 7,709 m), that works out to just under 250 ft of elevation gain per mile (48 m per km) – assuming you're climbing for all 93 mi / 150 km. The permanent glaciers surrounding Mount Rainier (which, hopefully, you will see plenty of during your time on the Wonderland Trail) are a testament to this. Ohanapecosh Camp lies a few miles off of the Wonderland Trail. If you can get to Tacoma, Washington, it's about $100 for an Uber to Longmire (or $150 from Seattle) – not terrible if you're a group of four. *More on permits (including how to hike the Wonderland Trail without a permit) below. Here are the distances between the tree frontcountry campgrounds: All three of these campgrounds are accessible via car (Mowich Lake Campground requires 16 mi / 26 km of travel down an unpaved road). The 93-mile Wonderland Trail, which circumnavigates 14,411 foot Mt. The Wonderland Trail takes place entirely within the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park. This offers kind of a mini Wonderland Trail experience if you don’t want to hike the entire 93 miles. To stay a bit more dry, the ranger helped me choose camps that were at lower elevations with good tree cover. P.O. If you’re traveling a clockwise direction, the Spray Park Trail splits off from the Wonderland Trail at Mowich Lake and Rejoins near Carbon River camp. Camping along the Wonderland Trail is only allowed in one of the 21 designated campsites (18 backcountry and 3 frontcountry). Heading clockwise, the Wonderland Trail has five sustained climbs over 2,000 ft / 610 m. Heading counterclockwise, there are six. It is a world-class hike that has been on my mind for years so finally being able to complete it was such a wonderful feeling, but it wasn't an easy road (or trail) to get there. Wonderland Trail Campgrounds; Wonderland Elevation Profile; Wilderness Permits at Mount Rainier; Maps at Mount Rainier; Roads Status at Rainier; Note: Summer comes late to Washington -- you may still encounter snow until mid-July in some places. BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Unfortunately, this is not an option. The trail circumnavigates (goes in a circle around) Mount Rainier, the highest peak in Washington at 14,411 ft / 4,392 m. It's a popular trail and requires hikers to apply for a permit ($20 application fee per group of up to 12 people) in advance – more on Wonderland Trail permits, including walk-up permits, below. Each year, hikers vie for permits to embark on a backpacking trip on it, with only a handful scoring the permits to undertake this strenuous hike. Unfortunately, the week I chose turned out to be very wet. In Longmire, you can access the internet at the wilderness information center, use flush toilets, visit a small shop for supplies, and get permits. Rainier, over the course of 4 days. Your permit lists the name of your camp and the date that you are permitted to camp there. There are four ranger stations where Wonderland Trail permits may be picked up or applied for as a walk-up. BY CAR: To get to Mount Rainier National Park via car, you will need to pay an entry fee of $30 (per vehicle, not person). Campfires are not permitted at any of the wilderness camps. You can use a camp stove to cook. National Park Service policy has been to limit the number and capacity of campsites. This is a non-wilderness camp that is located in the Southeast corner of the park. Hitchhiking in Washington is illegal on freeways, but not on the on-ramps (but don't quote me on this). Most are located near a water source. The Wonderland Trail has a pretty serious elevation change of about 22,000 feet (6700 meters). When you cut that distance in half (because you're going down half the time), the elevation gain per mile averages out to 500 ft per mile (94 m per km). Klapatche is one of the sought after campsites on the Wonderland Trail because it’s up real high in an alpine park. Sometimes the next camp is just a couple of miles down the trail and sometimes it’s up to 7 miles away. The North Puyallup CG is 200 yards off the Wonderland Trail. Eighteen trailside camps, 3 to 7 miles (5 to 11 km) apart, are located along the Wonderland Trail. All Rights Reserved. The closest Wonderland Trail camp is probably Nickel Creek. There’s no fee for walk-ins. Rainier (also known as Tahoma) it is the most topographically prominent mountain in the lower 48. via UPS or FedEx (PREFERRED), Mount Rainier National Park Paradise Inn is located in the town of Paradise. Lastly, know it's possible to hike the Wonderland Trail without a permit – you just have to complete the 93-mi / 150-km loop in three days. Disperse camping is not permitted in the park. Le Wonderland Trail est un sentier de randonnée long de 150 km qui fait le tour du mont Rainier, un imposant volcan [1], [2].Le sentier parcourt une région très vallonnée de la chaîne des Cascades.Le Panhandle Gap, le sommet du sentier culmine à 2 057 m [3] tandis que le point le plus bas atteint 700 m au niveau du campement d'Ipsut Creek [1]. Is it the greatest thing ever and should you be crushed if you don't end up getting a permit? There are 18 designated backcountry camping areas along the Wonderland Trail. If you want to follow along, you can find the Mount Rainier National Park wilderness planner (including a map with distances) here. If you do not get a permit, your application fee is not refunded. At the end of the day, this doesn’t really matter. You should probably invest in the, Carrying a phone? There are no public transportation options for getting to Mount Rainier National Park. The Wonderland Trail is a 93-mile (150 km) circuit located in Washington's Mount Rainier National Park with over 23,000 ft / 7,090 m of elevation gain. Here is a list of all the campsites along the Wonderland Trail with distances to the next campsite (in each direction). The rain added to the atmosphere. Carbon River Ranger Station Some of them have water nearby, some are dry camps. All that math works out, right? But, we had completed the entire Wonderland Trail on schedule! Most of the wilderness camps only have 4-6 sites. The previous fall usually brings the rainy season which causes damage to trails and camps by raging waters, high winds and falling trees. I need to update this site as that story is some time ago and I don’t know if camping would still be so cheap. I loved this trek, as did the two other guys in my group- one of which doesn’t even particularly like hiking (a fact we learned on day two- go figure). Safety on the Wonderland Trail. Find walking maps and … There is also a cool box canyon next to the road between Snow Creek and Nickel Creek (there are also bathrooms and trash cans here). The sites are first come, first serve. Permits are free but availability is limited. For a longer hike, you can add the spray park trail to this loop to create a 48 mile trip through the entire northern section of Mount Rainier National Park. A stay here will add a couple of miles to your itinerary. You can, Things to Consider When Choosing Your Wonderland Trail Campsites, How to Plan a Wonderland Trail Through Hike, Is Camping Safe? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The Wonderland Trail offers many dramatic views; here a suspension bridge over the Tahoma Creek provides a breathtaking scene. Rainier. Many hikers choose to hike a loop by taking the Northern Loop Trail out and the Wonderland Trail back. Wonderland Trail Wilderness Campsites Each Wonderland Trail wilderness camp is equipped with a basic bathroom, bear hang or bear box for storing food, and flat sites where you can set up your tent. No, it's certainly not that. Share your experience in the comments below! I’ve only seen glimpses of the mountain from here though. With a 10 day itinerary, we decided to take advantage of only one cache location, and that was at Longmire. Review of Summerland Campsite: As one of the two most popular campsites on the Wonderland Trail (the other is Indian Bar), it is undoubtedly scenic, with a great view of Mount Rainier especially at sunset. For more general information, check out my guide: The National Park Inn is located in the town of Longmire. Camping along the Wonderland Trail is only allowed in one of the 21 designated campsites (18 backcountry and 3 frontcountry). At 14,411’ (4,392 meters), Mt. Lowland forests along the Wonderland Trail Laura Lancaster Unlike other trails in the Pacific Northwest, the Wonderland Trail doesn’t just require a permit, it also requires you to choose your campsites in advance of your trip. You can apply for a permit online in advance starting on March 15 of each year or try your luck at getting a walk-up permit at one of the wilderness information centers (WIC). Wonderland Trail walk-up permits are available on a first-come, first-served basis at each of the four ranger stations. There are also two backcountry campsites located along the Spray Park Trail, Eagle's Roost and Cataract Valley. Here is a list of all the campsites along the Wonderland Trail with distances to the next campsite (in each direction). I've found that not eating only chocolate on trail can really improve my performance (and mood). A communal food hanging bear pole is there. Hikers opting to take Spray Park will miss the climb up and over Ipsut Pass (5,118 ft / 1,560 m), and will instead climb to 6,400 ft / 1,951 m on the western slope of Mount Rainier. For more general information, check out my guide: How to Plan a Wonderland Trail Hike. We both decided on the Salomon Agile 17 litre, a stretch-fit pack designed for running with one main compartment, mesh side pockets along with pockets on the waist harness, and Salomon’s usual ‘4D pole holder’ for our running poles – yes, running poles… Hundreds of people do it every year without incident. In Mount Rainier National Park, a permit is required to camp at wilderness campsites. Even with all of the rain, I still had a great hike. Reservations made in March may take up to six weeks to process (mid-May). They have a nice restaurant and a lounge area where you can relax by the fire. If it does, check the one at the group site. WALK-UP/DAY-OF PERMITS: Approximately 30% of the wilderness permits for Mount Rainier National Park are reserved for in-person walk-ups. Sure, some camps offer better views and facilities. Also, if you're planning on hiking the Wonderland Trail beginning after September 28, you are required to get a walk-up permit (first come, first served). This would be a great place to stay the night before you start your hike or for a rest day in the middle of your hike. Privacy Policy. Applications are processed beginning April 1 in a random order (i.e. Campsites along the spray park trail traveling clockwise from Mowich Lake include: This 15.5 mile trail forks off from the Wonderland Trail near Sunrise and meats back up in the Carbon River Valley between Carbon River camp and Ipsut Creek. Instructions: Select your start and end trailheads, number of days, and hiking direction. Wonderland Trail, 149 km, 93 miles, about 10 days. Backcountry camps along the Wonderland Trail are extremely popular throughout the summer and Wilderness Camping Reservations are strongly recommended. Some days you’ll be climbing all day. Photo by dutch. Each camp has 1 to 8 sites for 1 to 5 persons per site. When spring comes to the mountains it is a very busy time for Park Rangers. How many days does it take to hike the Wonderland Trail? The Wonderland Trail is a 93 mile trail that circumnavigates Mount Rainier (Talol, Tahoma) in Mount Rainier National Park. The Wonderland Trail is a 93-mile hiking trail that encircles Washington's most famous volcano. If you don’t get a space in all of your chosen camps, don’t worry about it too much. You must camp at a designated site. APPLYING ONLINE: You can apply online for a Wonderland Trail permit beginning March 15 each year. Carbon River Ranger Station Rainier, the highest peak in Washington and the Cascade Mountain Range. Camping in undesignated sites is permitted within crosscountry and alpine zones is also possible by permit only. Use this guide to help you put together your itinerary before applying for your permit. The nearest Wonderland Trail wilderness camp is Paradise River. Scott & Rachel's Wonderland Trail Journal "Reservations" Day Zero - Sunday, August 12th (Entry by Scott) - The things we worry about. Contact. While you’re hiking, you’ll come across plenty of water sources. One day ended up being a little more intense than I would have liked. Longmire Wilderness Information Center Spots on the Wonderland Trail fill up quickly, and by April, the park generally stops accepting permit applications (for the Wonderland Trail). In descending order of popularity, they are as follows: 1. The first thing we started to nerd out on was our packs. However, most of the Wonderland Trail lies below 6,000 ft / 1,829 m. The only sections of the trail above this altitude are those between Summerland and Indian Bar and between Granite Creek and Sunrise. warmer temperatures), you probably want to invest in some repellant as mosquitoes can be bad (I am a big fan of, The location the cache is being picked up at, The approximate date the cache is being picked up (if known), You must mail or hand-deliver your food caches, The park suggests mailing your cache so it arrives. Mowich Lake is a free, primitive campground (pit toilets) with a self-registration booth in the parking lot. A stay here will add a couple of miles to your itinerary. I started my Wonderland Trail hike in mid-September. A campsite costs $20 per night. Day Hikes and Overnights. This track should be used for illustrative purposes only and should NOT be used for navigation. They are not all evenly spaced. June and September are also relatively dry, at least compared to the rest of the year, but you can also expect slightly lower temperatures during these months. Most camps are built in the trees which provide a bit of protection from the rain and wind. Rainier, since we will be pulling in so late? One hundred miles is a great distance, especially if you’re savvy enough to get your pack weight to a manageable number. We did camp here in 2018. 70002 SR 410 East July and August are the driest months of the year at Mount Rainier and are therefore also the most popular months to hike the Wonderland Trail. Camps along the Northern Loop Trail from East to West include: If you’re having trouble putting together an itinerary or you want to break up the trip a bit with a hotel stay in the middle, you have a few options including: The National Park Inn is located in the town of Longmire. The terrain is challenging, yet rewarding. Will they have a plastic bucket for our food cache? I'm always looking to improve my hiking guides (and, more specifically, Wonderland Trail-specific information), if you have any suggestions to improve or update this guide, please leave a comment below or get in touch. For more info on the hotel check out their, This is a non-wilderness camp that is located in the Southeast corner of the park. Remember, your permit governs where you camp, not where you start/end. You don’t have to worry about water availability too much on this trail. And if you are really dead set on hiking it, just head to the park with plenty of time to spare and try for a walk-up permit. It helped somewhat but I still got wet. This hike is about 33 miles. Each camp has a composting toilet and a nearby water source. Wonderland Trail camps number 18, they’re situated three to seven miles apart, and reservations are required. Camping along the Wonderland Trail is extremely popular throughout the summer and wilderness camping reservations are essential for many of the most popular campsites. White River WIC The campsites along the Wonderland Trail are basic but well placed and maintained. Best to get a hitch that's actually driving into the park (you won't cost them anything extra for being in the car). Copyright 2020 - Where The Road Forks. This guide is organized in a clockwise direction starting from Longmire. We needed something large enough but still form-fitting enough to allow us to run comfortably, so ideally in the 15-20 litre range. Mar 13, 2020 - This guide outlines the Wonderland Trail campsites including elevation, distances to the nearest sites, facilities, terrain, and more. Hopefully, you found this post useful. After my first night at Mystic Lake camp, I basically woke up in a puddle. Washington and the Pacific Northwest is notorious for rain. You may want to schedule fewer miles for these days. Traildino grading: SW, Strenuous walk, mountain trail; Hut tour grading: T2, Mountain walk. Decide if this trek is an endurance test, or if you want to take your time and enjoy the experience and many beautiful campsites. ATTN: Longmire WIC, White River Campground OR Sunrise Visitor Center The cost to apply for a permit is $20 per group (max 12) per trip (max 14 consecutive nights). This can help you determine how many miles you want to hike on any given day. If you walk into the park (past a checkpoint) there is a “per person” fee of $15 (this applies to bicycles as well). The diversity of ecosystems keeps the trail feeling fresh. There's no shortage of mountains to be explored in Washington (or of Sasquatch to be found). If you don't end up getting a permit for the Wonderland Trail and hanging out in the park waiting to score a walk-up permit isn't your idea of a good time, you try for a permit for the Enchantments or opt to hike in North Cascades National Park instead. One of the iconic backpacking trips in Washington and Mount Rainier’s premier trail, the Wonderland Trail circumnavigates Mt. Wonderland Trail itinerary planner Build a custom itinerary for hiking Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail. If you're feeling ambitious, the hike can be done in three days (or fewer if you're truly a beast), but most hikers choose itineraries calling for six to eight days. The Wonderland Trail is 93 miles long, includes 22,000' of elevation gain and loss, and circumnavigates the tallest point in Washington: Mt. For more info and to make reservations, check out their website.