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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] 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.[4]

Complete trail descriptions may be found in a variety of trailbooks.[1][3][5]


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.[6]

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. ^ Spring, Ira; Manning, Harvey (1998). 100 Classic Hikes in Washington. The Mountaineers. ISBN 0-89886-586-7. 
  5. ^ Smoot, Jeffrey L. (1991). Adventure Guide to Mount Rainier: Hiking, Climbing and Skiing in Mt. Rainier National Park. Falcon. ISBN 0-934641-40-4. 
  6. ^ 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.
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93691 videos foundNext > 

Hiking The Mount Rainier Wonderland Trail

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

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...

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.

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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 ...

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On July 9th, 2013, I hiked the Wonderland Trail starting on the Cowlitz Divide Trail, intersecting with the Wonderland above Nickel Creek at 4800'. As I proc...

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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 Thru-hike, September 2012

Wonderland Trail Introduction and Initial Planning

This is just a quick introduction for our upcoming adventure on the Wonderland Trail around the base of Mount Rainier in Washington. I have included some inf...

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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 d...

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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 ...

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28 news items

BBC News
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:18:45 -0700

Occombe Adventures in Wonderland Trail. Occombe Farm, Paignton. Run by: Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. A fantastical trail in an enchanted forest! Follow the white rabbit's footsteps to see if you can spot the grinning cat and missing playing card.
The Oregonian
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 08:33:45 -0700

The 93-mile Wonderland Trail, which circles Mount Rainier, is one of America's ultimate backpacking challenges. It usually requires 10 to 12 days to complete. Hikers send food ahead to pick up at two spots along the trail. Elevation gained and lost ...
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 00:06:23 -0700

The first step in most Wonderland Trail adventures comes March 15 each year. This is when Mount Rainier National Park rangers start accepting requests for backcountry camp permits. The Wonderland Trail takes most hikers 10 days or more to complete.
Ashland Daily Tidings
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 02:11:15 -0700

"Most of what we consume is the dead vegetation along the forest floor. It's sticks, the needles, the grasses." Smoke will be visible because of the burn operation's proximity to Ashland. The Alice in Wonderland trail will be closed from the White ...
Torquay Herald Express
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:56:15 -0700

The adventures in wonderland trail for four to 12 year olds will be as magical as it sounds with children following the white rabbit's footsteps, spotting the grinning cat, finding the missing playing card and meeting the Queen of Hearts. Once the ...
Ashland Daily Tidings
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:30:00 -0700

"Most of what we consume is the dead vegetation along the forest floor. It's sticks, the needles, the grasses." Smoke will be visible because of the burn operation's proximity to Ashland. The Alice in Wonderland trail will be closed from the White ...
HeraldNet (blog)
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:18:45 -0700

... Asars is a guidebook writer and avid hiker and backpacker. She'll talk about the stunning hikes and backpacks she has done, many of them in Washington. Asars is the author of "Hiking the Wonderland Trail" and "Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks ...
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 23:11:15 -0700

The bus around the bay is vintage and an Alice in Wonderland trail takes you directly back to your childhood. But it also has some modern thrills. Whilst on the Orme we strapped on skis and flew down the hillside before blasting over a quarry on the ...

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