• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

Trails and Backcountry Camp Conditions

 
A large blowdown on the Wonderland Trail

The Trail Crew clearing a large tree from the Wonderland Trail

Mount Rainier can receive 700 or more inches of snow each winter. When spring comes to the mountains it is a very busy time for Park Rangers. The previous fall usually brings the rainy season which causes damage to trails and camps by raging waters, high winds and falling trees. All this damage gets covered by 10-20 feet of snow, and there it sits until melt-out which often does not occur in earnest until late June or early July. The snow usually starts melting in high volumes, causing more damage to trails and camps. The Trail Crew may have to clear hundreds of trees from the trails each year. Replacing footlogs and bridges is also a major project. Footlogs are also prone to being washed out anytime there is a prolonged period of rain regardless of the season.

Wilderness Rangers and Trail Crew members are out and about early in the season trying to assess the damage. Given the vastness of the trail system and the volumes of snow, this is a large task. As we get reliable information on the status of a trail, a section of trail or a backcountry camp, that information will be posted here on the website.

 
Winter Trail Conditions
Reported irregularly when limited winter staff are able to assess conditions. Please note the date for reports and recognize that changes may have occurred since the report. If a trail or area does not have a specific report, conditions are unknown as of the date of this summary. Check the Northwest Avalanche Center Report and the Mount Rainier Recreational Weather Report before heading out. Avalanche assessment and route-finding skills are needed for many winter activities in the park this time of the year. Call the Longmire Information Center between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. if you have questions at 360-569-6575.

Latest Report: Winter Trails Report - December 18, 2014.

Backcountry Trails and Camp Reports
Trail and backcountry camp conditions are reported in detail during the summer months only (generally June-September). A Wilderness Camping Permit is required year round for camping or climbing in the park. Always check with Park Rangers for trail conditions before heading out into the backcountry. FIRES ARE NOT ALLOWED in the wilderness at Mt. Rainier.

Be prepared for harsh conditions and fast-changing weather. River crossings are prone to be being washed out, potentially leaving you stranded on one side of the crossing. Always cross early in the day when water levels are at their lowest. Use extreme caution anytime you attempt to ford a river or creek. Be prepared... mountain weather is good one minute, daunting the next.

Do not leave valuables in your car. While break-ins are infrequent, they do occur.

Trails in the Carbon River Area
The Carbon River Road to Ipsut Creek Campground is CLOSED at the park entrance because of 2006 flood damage. It is now a five mile hike into Ipsut Creek Campground. Bikes are permitted ONLY as far as Ipsut Creek Campground. All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain backcountry camping permits at the Carbon River Ranger Station.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary

On May 1, 2013, a new Ranger Station opened at Carbon River. It is located 5.5 miles past the Mowich Lake turn-off, toward the Carbon River entrance. It is on the left side of the road.

Ipsut Creek Campground is being managed as a backcountry camp. A wilderness permit will be required to camp at Ipsut Creek. Fires and pets are not permitted beyond the point where public vehicles can legally park at the park entrance.

Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Carbon Glacier Trail
Chenuis Fall
Green Lake
Ipsut Falls
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap
Paul Peak Trail
Rain Forest Loop
Spray Park Please be mindful of where you step in the fragile meadows of Spray Park. Route finding across the snowfields just east of the ridge that separates Spray Park from Seattle Park can be tricky. Please bring a 1:24,000 scale topo map, know how to read it and consult it often. Some parties who did not read their map have lost the trail in this area and have spent hours climbing up and away from the Spray Park trail unintentionally. These Snowfields last all summer and so do challenges navigating them.
Seattle Park
Tolmie Peak S

Trails in the Longmire Area
The main road to Longmire is OPEN year round. All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain backcountry camping permit daily at the Longmire Wilderness Information Center or the Paradise Visitor Center.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground)
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail)
Denman Falls Trail
Eagle Peak Trail
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness)
Kautz Creek Trail
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail
Mildred Point Trail
Mirror Lakes Trail
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls)
North Puyallup River Trail
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls)
Round Pass Trail
Saint Andrews Creek Trail
South Puyallup River Trail
Trail of the Shadows
Twin Firs Trail


Trails in the Ohanapecosh Area
All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain permits at the White River Ranger Station.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) .
Eastside Trail
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
Laughingwater Creek Trail
Pacific Crest Trail
Shriner Peak Trail
Silver Falls Trail

Trails in the Paradise Area
The main road to Longmire is OPEN year round. During winter months, the road from Longmire to Paradise closes nightly at the gate at Longmire. Check twitter for daily road status updates. All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtaining backcountry camping permits daily at the Longmire Information Center.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Alta Vista Trail
Dead Horse Creek Trail
Fourth Crossing Trail
Glacier Vista Trail
Golden Gate Trail
High Lakes Loop Trail
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge)
Moraine Trail
Nisqually Vista Trail

Paradise Glacier Trail
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield)
Pinnacle Peak Trail
Skyline Trail
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail
Stevens Creek Trail

Trails in the White River Area
All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain permits at the White River Ranger Station, located at the entrance.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail
Crystal Lakes Trail
Crystal Peak Trail
Emmons Moraine Trail
Glacier Basin Trail
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail)
Huckleberry Creek Trail
Lake Eleanor Trail
Mt. Fremont Trail
Naches Peak Trail
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road)
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123)
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH form Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap.
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass
Palisades Lakes Trail
Silver Forest Trail
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake)
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point)
Sunrise Rim Trail
Tipsoo Lake Trail

Wonderland Trail
All backcountry camping requires a permit.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Longmire to Indian Henry's
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake
Mystic Lake to Sunrise
Sunrise to White River Campground
White River Campground to Summerland
Summerland to Indian Bar
Indian Bar to Box Canyon
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls
Narada Falls to Longmire


Carbon Area Backcountry Camps
The road to Ipsut Creek Campground is closed at the park entrance, secondary to flood damage in 2006. All backcounrty camping requires a permit. Obtain Wilderness Permits at Carbon River just inside the entrance to the park.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Summary

The road to Ipsut Creek is CLOSED. The hike is 5 miles from the Carbon River Entrance to Ipsut Creek Campground, which is now managed as a wilderness camp and requires a wilderness permit. There is a new Ranger Station located about 2 miles before the Carbon River entrance. This is the place to get permits and information for the Carbon/Mowich area.The Ranger Station at the entrance is no longer in operation.

Carbon River Camp #4/1 (3195')

Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620')
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185')
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885')
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400')
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900')
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570')
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605')


Longmire/Paradise Area Backcountry Camps
All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain Wilderness Camping permits daily at the Longmire Wilderness Information Center, the Longmire Museum (open year-round) or The Paradise Visitor Center.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Summary
Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060')
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130')
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515')
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320')
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815')
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750')
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805')
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765')
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690')
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000')


Eastside Backcountry Camps
All backcountry camps require a permit.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Check back in Summer 2015 for updates.
Summary
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375')
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950')
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675')
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300')
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660')
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965')

Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')


Indian Bar #4/1 (5120')
James Camp #3/1 (4620')
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000')
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450')
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385')
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940')
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355')
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940')
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245')
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270')
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680')
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825')
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835')
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300')
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180')

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