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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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518 news items

The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 15:27:51 -0700

Overwhelmed by a surge in requests for backpacking permits on its Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park has had to stop accepting reservations for the summer hiking season. The park has received so many requests for permits that on Friday it ...

Nisqually Valley News

Nisqually Valley News
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:45:00 -0700

After what park officials are calling an overwhelming and unprecedented demand for reservation requests to hike the Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park is no longer accepting reservations. Park Superintendent Randy King said requests for ...

Eatonville Dispatch

Eatonville Dispatch
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:22:30 -0700

Mount Rainier National Park, filled to the brim with people trying to sign up early to hike the Wonderland Trail, has stopped taking reservations for this summer for the popular trek around the mountain. Park superintendent Randy King said the demand ...

Yahoo Travel

Yahoo Travel
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 21:52:30 -0700

“Mount Rainier is an amazing place. Whether you're watching the sunrise at the base of Mirror Lake or climbing some of its beautifully wooded trails, you'll be awed by the beauty of the Cascade mountain range. The Wonderland Trail, which ...

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 ...
 
Enumclaw Courier-Herald
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:03:45 -0700

But it's a mighty big mountain and few are up to a Wonderland Trail type of experience, spending days in back-country camps while getting to know the best Rainier has to offer, sometimes on a cold-and-wet, hands-and-knees level. So, option No. 2 might ...

The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:45:00 -0700

Other trails hikeable due to less snow include the Wonderland Trail and Rampart Ridge, according to Swartout. For hikers looking to jump-start the season, WTA's Ramos recommends trails around the Columbia River Gorge, Annette Lake in the Mount ...

Eatonville Dispatch

Eatonville Dispatch
Thu, 02 Apr 2015 12:14:17 -0700

The $8.9 million Stevens Canyon Road project, funded through the Federal Highway Administration, included improvements of the Ohanapecosh and Falls Creek bridges, culverts, guard walls, retaining walls, turnouts and the short Wonderland Trail section ...
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