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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
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.
200535 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 Miles 7-10 Days.

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 seriously incredible: http://yunus-piano.d...

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 usual comfort items as we will...

Running the Wonderland Trail Around Mt. Rainier Unsupported

The Wonderland Trail is a 150 km route that circumnavigates Mt. Rainier, with our 7230 metres of elevation gain. It's normally done as a 10 day hike, but many will run it over 3 days with...

Wonderland Trail

Hiking the Wonderland Trail in September 2013. 7 days - 93 miles. Amazing days spent on the mountain; time to walk, and time to think.

Crawford Family on the Wonderland Trail (1 of 9)

This is a mini "documentary" we made about our family hiking 93 miles around Mount Rainer. The kids ages at the time of the hike are 2,4,6,8. It took us 12 days. There are 9 videos total...

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 of 6 days. One of the hardest but...

200535 videos foundNext > 

232 news items

Ashland Daily Tidings
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:26:42 -0700

Using all-volunteer help, the Ashland Woodland Trails Association has extended the popular Bandersnatch Trail from the Alice in Wonderland Trail down to Ashland Loop Road in the hills above Ashland, increasing hiker-only pathways and allowing ...

Daily Post North Wales

Daily Post North Wales
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 03:18:45 -0700

Alice in Wonderland characters hit the streets of London to mark 150 years of the beloved children's novel, searching for a way back to Wonderland. After stopping off at The London Eye, Big Ben and Downing Street, the White Rabbit and Alice found their ...
Yakima Herald-Republic
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 01:26:15 -0700

... subalpine meadows and wildflower fields of the Goat Rocks. After the presentation, Asars will be available to sign books and answer hiking questions. Her various guidebooks will be available for purchase at $15(except her Wonderland Trail book ...

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 ...


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 ...
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:35:00 -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 ...


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 ...
The Seattle Times
Sat, 03 Aug 2013 19:09:57 -0700

First, Mount Rainier spun a lenticular cloud and donned it like a hat. Then, slowly, the entire scene turned orange before the alpenglow faded to black. The Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park takes a lot out of you. It's roughly 93 miles ...

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