The Wonderland Trail
The Wonderland Trail (WT) is 93 miles (150kms) long and encircles Mount Rainier. It is a strenuous hike with lots of elevation gain and loss, through lowland forests and valleys and into high alpine and sub-alpine areas.
Perhaps the biggest aspect in planning to hike the Wonderland Trail is you knowing your hiking skills, abilities and habits. Rangers cannot tell you that. Nobody knows your skill level better than you. This is important when laying the foundation for your trip... selecting the proper distance between campsites. Do you live and hike primarily in mountainous terrain and climates, or lower elevation areas? Hiking on flat terrain for 93 miles is far easier than having to climb up three thousand feet with a full pack day, after day, after day. This sounds like something that should not have to be stated, but we often see hikers going beyond their skill level. This usually leads to injury, illness, misery and an early end to a long-planned trip.
CAMPS ALONG THE WONDERLAND TRAIL
The Carbon River Road is closed to vehicular access at the Carbon River Entrance because of 2006 flood damage. As a result Ipsut Creek Campground is currently being managed as a wilderness camp. This means a wilderness permit will be required to camp here and all wilderness regulations will apply. Fires, pets, bicycles and other wheeled devices are not permitted in the backcountry at Mount Rainier. Although firearms may be possessed or carried in accordance with Washington State law, use of firearms throughout the park including backcountry areas remains prohibited.
Hikers doing the complete Wonderland Trail are limited to camping in designated camps only-the use of cross-country zones is not permitted.
When making a reservation request, please do not fax and mail your reservation form. Choose only one method. Doing both creates multiple problems.
The Wonderland Trail has eighteen trailside wilderness camps and three non-wilderness camps. NOT ALL CAMPS HAVE GROUP SITES. Parties with 6-12 people will need a camp that has a group site. There is no wilderness or non-wilderness camping at Longmire. Hiking from Longmire in a clockwise direction, WT camps are:
* denotes non-wilderness campground
There are two wilderness camps on the Alternate Route of the Wonderland Trail through Spray Park. They are:
Did You Know?
In 1792, Captain George Vancouver of the British Navy became the first European to sail into the Puget Sound. On the horizon, he noted a large, snowy mountain, known to local Native Americans as Tahoma, Takhoma, or Tacobet. Vancouver named it for his colleague Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.