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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] 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]

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.[6]

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. ^ 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.
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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635 news items

 
KOMO News
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:34:02 -0700

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) - Crews are still looking for a 64-year-old Tacoma man who went missing while hiking Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail last weekend. National Park Service spokeswoman Casey Broom says there was still no ...

KOMO News

KOMO News
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 ...
 
TheNewsTribune.com
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:48:27 -0700

Panhandle Gap, 6,800 feet above sea level, is the highest point on the Wonderland Trail. It's common for snow to cover patches of the trail throughout summer. Park rangers recommend route-finding skills in this area where it can be easy to lose the trail.
 
Nisqually Valley News
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:30:00 -0700

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Searchers on Wednesday resumed looking for a 64-year-old Tacoma man who went missing while hiking the Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier. National Park Service spokeswoman Casey Broom says the search ...
 
Eatonville Dispatch
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:26:15 -0700

Park officials said Edwin Birch, 64, a Tacoma resident, was hiking with his son in the Panhandle Gap area on the Wonderland Trail. Birch set out from Box Canyon early Saturday morning after leaving his son at White River, where the younger man planned ...
 
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 ...
 
Kitsap Sun
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 08:11:15 -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've done father-daughter trips all over the world since she was ...
 
Lewiston Morning Tribune (subscription)
Sun, 29 Jun 2014 00:02:13 -0700

SEATTLE - A national park has a way of imprinting itself on you. Maybe it's the first place you went camping as a kid. Or it was your introduction to whistling marmots. Maybe the first time you saw an alpine meadow covered by an avalanche of avalanche ...
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