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Coordinates: 46°52′08″N 121°39′33″W / 46.8689°N 121.6592°W / 46.8689; -121.6592

Wonderland Trail
CowlitzDivide.JPG
The Cowlitz Divide portion of the trail, in the southeastern portion of the park, offers many views of Mt. Rainier and its numerous glaciers.
Length 93 miles (150 km)[1][2]
Location Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, United States
Trailheads Longmire
Mowich Lake
Ipsut Creek Camp Ground
Sunrise parking area
White River Camp Ground
Fryingpan Creek Trailhead
Box Canyon
Reflection Lakes
Cougar Rock
Use Hiking
Elevation
Elevation gain/loss 22,000 feet (6,700 m) gain approximately[1]
Highest point Panhandle Gap
6,750 feet (2,060 m)[3]
Lowest point Ipsut Creek Campground
2,320 feet (710 m)[1]
Hiking details
Season Summer to early Fall
Months Mid-July through late September
Website nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/the-wonderland-trail.htm

The Wonderland Trail is an approximately 93 mile (150 km)[1][2] hiking trail that circumnavigates Mount Rainier in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, United States. The trail goes over many ridges of Mount Rainier for a cumulative 22,000 feet (6,700 m) of elevation gain.[1] The trail was built in 1915.[3] In 1981, it was designated a National Recreation Trail.[4] An estimated 200 to 250 people a year complete the entire trail[1] with several thousand others doing shorter sections of it. The average time taken to complete the entire trip is 10 to 14 days.[3]

The Trail[edit]

The trail is entirely within the national park and passes through major life zones of the park, from lowland forests to subalpine meadows of wildflowers. As the trail circles the mountain, hikers see different faces of Mount Rainier, carved by 25 named glaciers.

The trail is considered strenuous as it is almost always climbing or descending the ridges around the mountain. The highest point is 6,750 feet (2,060 m) at Panhandle Gap.[3]

A footbridge, on the southern portion of the trail, spans the Nisqually River.

There are many river crossings on the trail including two suspension bridges. Many of the rivers are crossed on primitive log bridges which can wash away during heavy rain or when there is a lot of snow melt in the rivers. Most of the bridges washed away during a major storm in November 2006, so the trail was impassable (and closed) to hikers through most of 2007.

The main hiking season is late summer, which is often dry and sunny. However, Mount Rainier's high elevation and proximity to the Pacific Ocean can also bring moisture as rain or snow to the trail. In many years, the Wonderland Trail is still mostly snow-covered during June and early July.

The traditional route between Mowich Lake and the Carbon River is via Ipsut Pass and Ipsut Creek. Many people take an alternative route across Spray Park and Seattle Park, a higher elevation route that often lies under snow until late August.[5]

Complete trail descriptions may be found in a variety of trailbooks.[1][3][6]

Camping[edit]

Little Tahoma, on the east flank of Mount Rainier, looms over the Wonderland Trail where it crosses Fryingpan Creek.

Camping along the Wonderland Trail is extremely popular throughout the summer and wilderness camping reservations are essential for many of the most popular campsites. Eighteen trailside camps, 3 to 7 miles (5 to 11 km) apart, are located along the Wonderland Trail. Each camp has 1 to 8 sites for 1 to 5 persons per site. These sites will hold at most 2 tents. Parties requiring space for 3 or more tents must camp in a group site. Group sites are available at certain camps for parties of 6 to 12 persons. These sites typically hold 3-5 tents. Each camp has cleared tent sites, a pit or composting toilet, bear pole for hanging food, and a nearby water source.

Wilderness Camping Permits[edit]

A backcountry permit, including reservations for designated camping areas, is required to hike the Wonderland Trail. Advance reservations for permits can normally be submitted starting March 15 each year, with a lottery normally taking place on April 1 to attempt to meet the permit requests of as many as possible.

Due to the damage suffered as the result of a flood in November 2006 the park service did not accept reservations for the 2007 summer season for attempts to hike the entire Wonderland Trail. The trail was reopened on August 3, 2007 after extensive work by the park service, the Washington Conservation Corps, Student Conservation Association and 1,700 volunteers.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Filley, Bette (2002). Discovering the Wonders of the Wonderland Trail: Encircling Mount Rainier (5th edition). Dunamis House. p. 52. ISBN 1-880405-09-1. 
  2. ^ a b "Wonderland Trail Profile" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Spring, Ira; Manning, Harvey (1999). 50 Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park. The Mountaineers. ISBN 0-89886-572-7. 
  4. ^ "Wonderland". American Trails. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  5. ^ Spring, Ira; Manning, Harvey (1998). 100 Classic Hikes in Washington. The Mountaineers. ISBN 0-89886-586-7. 
  6. ^ Smoot, Jeffrey L. (1991). Adventure Guide to Mount Rainier: Hiking, Climbing and Skiing in Mt. Rainier National Park. Falcon. ISBN 0-934641-40-4. 
  7. ^ Wood, Terry (October 4, 2007). "Volunteer labor worth $1 million-plus helps rebuild Mount Rainier trails". Special to The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderland_Trail — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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250 news items

The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:51:52 -0800

Campsites along the 93-mile Wonderland Trail that circumnavigates the mountain are so popular, a special lottery is held. Applications received by letter or fax March 15-April 1 are processed in random order. Applications received by the park after ...
 
Longview Daily News
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:15:00 -0800

For example, backpacking the classic Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier requires sending applications by letter or fax to the park. National forests throughout the country have many historic cabins and fire lookouts in their national rental program.

U-T San Diego

U-T San Diego
Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:52:30 -0800

He has a list of treks he'd like to make, including the 90-mile-plus Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier in Washington and a dream trip to hike/run across New Zealand. But mostly he gets joy from unplugging and being active. “I need it for my own ...
 
Mail Tribune
Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:52:30 -0800

The following areas will be closed on Friday: White Rabbit Trailhead, White Rabbit Trail, Alice in Wonderland Trail above Bandersnatch, Ashland Loop Road above the junction with Morton Street, Jabberwocky Trail and Caterpillar Trail. Updates on trails ...

The Spokesman Review

The Spokesman Review
Sun, 15 Feb 2015 00:03:45 -0800

For example, backpacking the classic Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier requires sending applications by letter or fax to the park. Reserving the Red Ives Cabin on Idaho Panhandle National Forests – a lair especially popular with fly fishers ...
 
Snowboarding.com
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:52:30 -0800

For 2015 she'll trek in Patagonia, complete Mt. Rainier's Wonderland Trail and squeeze in a few other backpacking trips on the side. Bret Edge, Moab, UT Bret's a professional photographer and avid outdoorsman who left "the soul sucking world" of ...

KOMO News

KOMO News
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 06:52:30 -0700

Mount Rainier is seen from a small footbridge at a lower elevation of the Wonderland Trail across the Nisqually River. (Wikimedia Commons photo by Joe Mabel). MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. - Search efforts are under way in Mount Rainier ...
 
Waco Tribune-Herald
Tue, 17 Feb 2015 22:15:55 -0800

Trib sports reporter John Werner and his wife, Karen Werner, will present a program about their four-day, 33-mile backpack hike at Mount Rainier National Park. The hike covered parts of the Wonderland Trail and Northern Loop and included more than 9 ...
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