digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















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

Wonderland Trail
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 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]


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]


  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.
201938 videos foundNext > 

My failed attempt at the Wonderland Trail

I was doomed from the very beginning.

Wonderland Trail 2014

This video is about Wonderland Trail 2014.

The Wonderland Trail - by TrekkingTheWest.com

One of the ultimate treks of the Northwest... The Wonderland Trail completely circumnavigates Mt Raineer. By TrekkingTheWest.com Mr Raineer, Washington 92 Mi...

Hiking The Mount Rainier Wonderland Trail

Jenny & Tristan's trip around Mount Rainier on the Wonderland Trail - August 2013.

Running the Wonderland Trail, INSANE Ultralight + Falling in white water rapids

Adventure videography! And yiss, that's me falling in the white water rapids. The song is appropriately called "Running Against Time," by Yunus. Yunus is ser...

Wonderland Trail Gear Selection

Just a quick video of the gear I will be taking on my Wonderland Trail adventure. This is by no means an ultralight setup, but one that affords me more than ...

Wonderland trail thru hike at Mt. Rainier (6 days)

Wonderland trail at mount Rainier 09/15/2013 - 09/21/2013. Overall was around 93 miles of hiking with 44000 feet of elevation gain and loss over the course ...

Wonderland Trail Hike around Mt Rainier 20140805

Jerry, Karim, Brian, Kathy, Dan and Sarah went for a hike around Mt. Rainier on the Wonderland Trail. Ten days of heaven. Okay, maybe a little rain. Fantasti...

Thru-Hiking the Wonderland Trail

Snippets from my 93 mile trek around Mount Rainier in Washington State. In ten days, I gained over 23000 cumulative feet walking through snowfields, alpine ...

The Wonderland Trail - Mt. Rainier

Four friends hike Mount Rainier National Park's famous Wonderland Trail. Check out bridge crossings, campsites, trailside features, views, and more with thes...

201938 videos foundNext > 

227 news items

Albany Times Union

Albany Times Union
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:00:00 -0800

When I recently mentioned wanting to take a trip out to Washington state to see Mount Rainier National Park, Herb started talking about the Wonderland Trail, a 93-mile backpack in the park with a total of (gulp) 22,000 feet of elevation change. "It's ...


Tue, 15 Jul 2014 06:58:23 -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 ...
Bellingham Herald
Sat, 13 Dec 2014 00:15:00 -0800

Author Tami Asars will talk about her new book “Hiking the Wonderland Trail,” published by Mountaineers Books. She will talk about the logistics of hiking the 95-mile trail that circles the mountain. 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday; REI, 222 Yale Ave. N ...

St. George Daily Spectrum

St. George Daily Spectrum
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:07:30 -0800

If you have time, take about an hour to view the famous holiday wonderland “Trail that Nobody Knows How Old.” It's a trial that will take you through different lands of holiday music, characters and lights sure to put you in a festive mood. At the end ...


Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:40:04 -0700

Mount Rainier National Park officials say a search is under way for a Tacoma man who disappeared Saturday while hiking with his son in the Panhandle Gap area on the Wonderland Trail. Park officials say Edwin Birch, 64, set out from Box Canyon early ...
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:34:25 -0700

Lightning strikes overnight Monday on Mount Rainier ignited two wildfires — one near Sunrise — prompting the closure of part of the Wonderland Trail, the national park announced Tuesday. The Shadow Lake backcountry fire was half an acre and burning ...
Bend Bulletin
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 23:56:15 -0700

My 21-year-old daughter and I backpacked five days on the northern tier of the Wonderland Trail, the famed 90+-mile loop around the iconic peak that decorates our state's license plates. We didn't have the two weeks we'd need to tackle the whole trail ...
The Seattle Times (blog)
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 19:10:27 -0700

Permits are required for backcountry camping anywhere in the national park, including along the Wonderland Trail. Most campsites can be reserved for a $20 fee. Reservation forms may be submitted by fax or mail starting March 15 each year, and all ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight