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.

Please note that many park roads and facilities close during winter. At any time during the year the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly. Always check current weather conditions before heading out on a trail.

 

Backcountry Trails and Camp Reports

August 11, 2015: FLOWERS and BUGS are well past peak throughout the park.

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 Mount 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.


Carbon Glacier Trail 0
6/15/15
Chenuis Fall 0 5/2/15
Green Lake 0
5/2/15
Ipsut Falls 0
5/23/15
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap
Paul Peak Trail 0 5/17/15
Rain Forest Loop 0
5/2/15
Spray Park 0 Please be mindful of where you step in the fragile meadows of Spray Park. Route finding across the snowfields (when present) 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.
6/27/15
Seattle Park 0 Please stay on the trail to avoid trampling fragile meadows. Thank you. 7/20/15
Tolmie Peak 0
6/7/15

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

Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 0 The crossing is in over the Nisqually River at the trail head. 5/18/15
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 0
6/16/15
Denman Falls Trail 0
5/25/15
Eagle Peak Trail 0
6/1/15
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) 0 6/23/15
Kautz Creek Trail 0
6/7/15
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 0 Get water at Lake George if needed if you are headed to Gobs Knob. There is no water source beyond the lake. 5/21/15
Mildred Point Trail 0 7/9/15
Mirror Lakes Trail 0 The trail is muddy in a few places. 6/7/15
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 0
6/16/15
North Puyallup River Trail 0
5/18/15
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0
5//6/15
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 0 . 6/16/15
Round Pass Trail 0
5/18/15
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 0
5/18/15
South Puyallup River Trail
0 5/18/15
Trail of the Shadows 0
3/12/15
Twin Firs Trail
0 4/9/15
Tahoma Creek Trail
- NOTE: This is an unmaintained trail in an area with high risk of geohazards such as flooding and debris flows. These events have occurred frequently in the past and are expected to occur again. It is NOT recommended to hike Tahoma Creek 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


Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) 0 6/11/15
Eastside Trail 0 6/9/15
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0
5/6/15
Laughingwater Creek Trail 0 6/3/15
Pacific Crest Trail 0
6/12/15
Shriner Peak Trail 0 Water sources are on this trail are DRY. You need to carry the water you need. 6/21/15
Silver Falls Trail 0
5/6/15

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
Please stay in trails to avoid damaging fragile meadows. Thank you. 7/20/15
Alta Vista Trail 0 Closed Mon-Fri for trail construction from the lower lot up the avalanche lily trail. Open Sat-Sun
7/31/15
Dead Horse Creek Trail 0 Closed Mon-Fri for trail construction, up to the junction with the waterfall trail. Open Sat-Sun
7/31/15
Fourth Crossing Trail 0
6/12/15
Glacier Vista Trail 0
6/12/15
Golden Gate Trail 0
6/16/15
High Lakes Loop Trail 0
6/16//15
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 0
6/16/15
Moraine Trail 0
6/16/15
Nisqually Vista Trail

0


6/11/15
Paradise Glacier Trail 0
6/28/15
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 30
6/12/15
Pinnacle Peak Trail 0
6/12/15
Skyline Trail 3 7/7/15
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0
5/21/15
Stevens Creek Trail 0 5/25/15

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
PLEASE stay on established trails to help avoid crushing fragile sub-alpine plants. Thank you. 7/20/15
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs 0
6/30/15
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 0
6/30/15
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 0
7/9/15
Crystal Lakes Trail 0
5/28/15
Crystal Peak Trail
0
6/4/15
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 The trail has been re-routed and is OPEN for use. NOTE: Families with small children should use caution as the re-route is still rough. 8/12/15
Glacier Basin Trail 0 6/3/15
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 0
6/20/15
Huckleberry Creek Trail 0
7/9/15
Lake Eleanor Trail 0
6/14/15
Mt. Fremont Trail 0
7/9/15
Naches Peak Trail 0 Pets are permitted only on the Pacific Crest Trail section of this hike. Pets are not permitted on the western section of the trail, which is inside the park. There are signs to this affect at the park boundary. Thank you. 6/9/15
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 0 The crossing over the West Fork of the White River is IN. Always use caution when crossing rivers. 8/5/15
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 0
6/1/15
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 0
5/25/15
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH form Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 0
6/11/15
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 0
7/9/15
Palisades Lakes Trail 0
6/15/15
Silver Forest Trail 0 6/17/15
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 0 7/20/15
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 0 7/9/15
Sunrise Rim Trail 0
6/11/15
Tipsoo Lake Trail 0 6/9/15

Wonderland Trail
All backcountry camping requires a permit.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 0 7/9/15
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 0
5/25/15
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 0 7/20/15
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 0
6/16/15
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 0
6/18/15
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 0 The crossings over the South Mowich River are IN as of this date. However, crossings here are prone to being washed out with extended days of high temperatures. Always use caution when crossing rivers. 7/20/15
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 0 5/15/15
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 0
5/16/15
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 5/18/15
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 0
5/30/15
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 0 6/30/15
Sunrise to White River Campground 0
6/10/15
White River Campground to Summerland 0 The bridge over the White River at the Campground is IN as of this date. The crossing is prone to issues during long stretches of hot weather, especially late in the day when water levels rise and tend to lap over the log crossing. Use caution. 8/27/15
Summerland to Indian Bar 0 Please stay off fragile vegetation here. A few 20 foot patches of snow is all that is left and that is going fast. 7/20/15
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 0
6/14/15
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

0

There are numerous slides that have damaged the trail below Martha Falls. The trails crew have scratched in a route. Use caution here. 7/20/15
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 0
5/21/15
Narada Falls to Longmire 0
5/17/15


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)

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')

0 The bridge over Cataract Creek, as you approach the Carbon River Camp, is out. It may be possible to cross on rocks however some people may prefer to ford the creek which is ankle to calf deep. 7/20/15
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet is open 6/10/15
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') 0 The bear pole is up, toilet is open. 6/1/15
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/15/15
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 Facilities open. 6/10/15
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 0 Toilet and food storage facility is operational. 6/7/15
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 0 The bear poles are up. 6/1/15
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/10/15


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)

Summary


Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060') 0 Bear poles up, toilet open. Get WATER at Fisher's Hornpipe Creek or Squaw Lakes. 7/20/15
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/30/15
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 0 Bear poles up, toilet open. Get WATER at St. Andrew's Lake or points along the tail to the North of the camp. 7/20/15
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 Bear poles up, toilet is open. 5/24/15
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Bear poles up. Toilet open. 5/29/15
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/7/15
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 0 Standing water in the group site. The bear pole is up, the toilet is open. 5/31/15
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 5//25/15
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 The bear pole is up, toilet open 5/23/15
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 Bear poles are up, toilet is open. The creek through camp is low on WATER. Try 1/4 mile south on the WT toward Emerald Ridge if needed. 7/20/15


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)


Summary


Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet is open. 6/4/15
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 5/16/15
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 5/29/15
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open 5/15/15
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/15/15
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 0

Toilet is open. Use food storage bins that are provided at the camp to store food.

6/13/15
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')

0 The bear pole is up. 6/1/15
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') 0 Bear poles are up, toilet is open. 6/10/15
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/9/15
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet is open 5/31/15
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 5/25/15
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet is open. 5/25/15
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet is open. 6/10/15
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet open. NO WATER at this camp or along the trail. 6/21/15
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 0 Bear poles are up. Toilet is open. 6/10/15
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 0 Bear storage container is snow-free, toilet is open 6/15/15
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/1/15
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/3/15
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet open. 5/28/15
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet is open. 6/15/15
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Food storage and toilet facilities are open. 6/30/15
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 0 Bear pole up, toilet open. 6/16/15

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