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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Nisqually to Paradise delays and Kautz Creek area closure.

    Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. Beginning May 29 to mid-July, all services at the Kautz Creek parking and picnic area are closed through the week. Limited parking on Sat & Sun. More »

  • Melting snow bridges and high streamflows create hazards for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers

    Be aware of hidden- and potentially fatal- hazards created by snow bridges and high streamflows on Mount Rainier. More »

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.

 
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.

Carbon Glacier Trail 0 The lower crossing of the Carbon River is IN. 5/20/14
Chenuis Fall 0 The crossing is IN. 5/5/14
Green Lake 0 4/10/14
Ipsut Falls 0 6/14/14
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap 5 Snow starts near Yellowstone Cliffs. 7/8/14
Paul Peak Trail 0 Some flowers are starting to show. 5/26/14
Rain Forest Loop 0 4/22/14
Spray Park 30 Snow-free to Spray Falls. Significant route-finding difficulties in upper Spray Park and Ptarmigan Ridge. Please be mindful of where you step in the fragile meadows of Spray Park. 7/21/14
Seattle Park 30 Mostly snow-covered above Marmot Creek. Significant route-finding difficulties in upper Spray Park and Ptarmigan Ridge. 7/7/14
Tolmie Peak 7 Patches of snow and mud at Eunice Lake. 7/21/14

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 The Westside Road is open. 6/17/14
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 0 Snow-free. 5/12/14
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 0/2 Snow-free to the end of the maintained trail in lower Van Trump Park, except for a few patches of snow.. Use caution when crossing creeks. Snow bridges are prone to fail this time of year. 7/21/14
Denman Falls Trail 0 6/17/14
Eagle Peak Trail 1 Snow-free except for one 150 foot section of trail in the lower meadows. 7/13/14
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) 10 Forest Service road 59 is not recommended for the family car. It is laden with deep potholes, ruts and is in generally poor condition for a car. While four-wheel drive is not needed, high clearance is recommended. Large stretches of snow still linger in the Goat Lake / Lake Christine area. Navigation can be difficult at times. 7/15/14
Kautz Creek Trail 2 Essentially snow-free. 7/21/14
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 0/2 7/21/14
Mildred Point Trail 5 Use caution crossing the creek above Comet Falls. 7/19/14
Mirror Lakes Trail 20 The Lakes are melted out. 7/20/14
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 5 Some snow still in the upper switchbacks as you near the Paradise parking lot. 7/14/14
North Puyallup River Trail 0 6/15/14
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 6/17/14
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 5 Snow-free to the last set of switchbacks before the trail pops out of the trees before the Mildred Point junction. 7/13/14
Round Pass Trail 0 5/15/14
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 0 7/11/14
South Puyallup River Trail
0 6/15/14
Trail of the Shadows 0 4/12/14
Twin Firs Trail 0 4/16/14


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) 20 Snow-free to 150 feet below Olallie Creek Camp junction. Then patchy snow to the Cowlitz Divide. The creek above Olallie Creek Camp junction may require fording when water flow is high. 6/28/14
Eastside Trail 5 7/21/14
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 5/5/14
Laughingwater Creek Trail 7 7/21/14
Pacific Crest Trail
Shriner Peak Trail 0 7/21/14
Silver Falls Trail 0 4/5/14

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 7/14/14
Alta Vista Trail 10
Dead Horse Creek Trail 5 7/22/14
Fourth Crossing Trail 30 7/2214
Glacier Vista Trail 60 7/21/14
Golden Gate Trail 50 7/21/14
High Lakes Loop Trail 40 From Reflection Lakes: The approach from the east side of the loop to Faraway Rock is snow-free. Approaching from the west side of the loop requires some navigation skills. There is a creek crossing that is out. 7/14/14
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 70 7/21/14
Moraine Trail 80 7/20/14
Nisqually Vista Trail

10

Watch for thin snow-bridges. Falling through the snow into moving water is always a possibilty when snow is still present on trails. 7/14/14
Paradise Glacier Trail 90 7/20/14
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 90 7/14/14
Pinnacle Peak Trail 85 Navigation is difficult. An ice ax is recommended to safely cross avalanche chutes and steep, snow-covered slopes. A fall could be fatal. 7/8/14
Skyline Trail 70 7/22/14
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 7/14/14
Stevens Creek Trail 0 5/22/14

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 Trails in the Sunrise area are melting out. Please stay on trails to avoid trampling on alpine plants that are emerging as snow melts out and snow cover becomes thin. Some flowers are beginning to bloom in meadows and along roadsides. 7/14/14
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs 0 Please stay on trail and help us preserve our unique alpine tundra ecosystem. 7/11/14
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 40 The south side of the First Burroughs Loop Trail has a very hazardous, steep snow slope. Use caution. Please stay on trail and help us preserve our unique alpine tundra ecosystem. 7/11/14
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 0 Nearly snow-free from Second Burroughs to the Glacier Basin Trail. 7/14/14
Crystal Lakes Trail 0 Nearly snow-free at the gap above Upper Crystal Lake. 7/11/14
Crystal Peak Trail
0 7/14/14
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 7/6/14
Glacier Basin Trail 1 Nearly snow-free. Please stay on trail even where trail is slushy or muddy to prevent killing fragile vegetation. Bear barrels are in place and are intended for food storage only. 7/9/14
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 2 Most of the remaining snow is from Sunrise to Berkeley Park. Trail through Grand Park is nearly snow-free. 7/9/14
Huckleberry Creek Trail 75 Steep snow at the trailhead to Forest Lake. 7/11/14
Lake Eleanor Trail 0 Wet and muddy. 7/8/14
Mt. Fremont Trail 0 7/8/14
Naches Peak Trail 5 A few patches of snow still linger but there are no navigation issues. Wildflowers are looking very nice on this hike. 7/22/14
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 10 Snow start just east of Windy Gap. Navigation is difficult. Snow diminishes quickly on the west side of the Gap. 7/8/14
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 35 Patches of snow start around 3 miles in, before Tamanos Creek Camp. It there turns to 100% snow cover. 6/17/14
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 0 Snow-free all the way to the lakes. 7/14/14
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH form Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 0 The trail is snow-free. Sheep Lake is melted out. Flowers are nice along this trail. 7/11/18
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass 60 Several long stretches of trail are still under very steep snow slopes and some snow bridges and snow cliffs. Ice axe/trekkingpoles and study boots are highly recommended. 7/11/14
Palisades Lakes Trail 30 Large sections of the trail are under standing water. Waterproof boots are a good idea. 7/11/14
Silver Forest Trail 0 Snow-free. 7/11/14
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 1 Mostly snow-free except for a few patches of snow. Nice flowers along the trail. 7/9/14
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 60 Steep snow slopes remain from Sunrise to near Dege Peak. Use caution. The best approach to Dege Peak is from Sunrise Point, where the trail is snow-free the whole way. 7/11/14
Sunrise Rim Trail 5 Almost snow-free. 7/13/14
Tipsoo Lake Trail 10 Please help us keep wildlife wild and do not feed animals in the Tipsoo Lake area, or elsewhere in the park. 7/8/14

Wonderland Trail
All backcountry camping requires a permit.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 5 Patchy snow begins above Devil's Dream camp and continues through the meadows. What snow does remain does not pose any route finding problems. The trail is very muddy in places with areas of flowing/standing water due to the rapid snowmelt. 7/20/14
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 5 Patchy snow in the meadows near Indian Henry's quickly disappears as one loses elevation on the descent to the Tahoma Creek suspension bridge. There is still some patchy snow near the top of Emerald Ridge but it no longer poses any route finding difficulties 7/20/14
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 65 Steep snow about 2/3 the way up the South Puyallup switchbacks as you head toward Klapatche Park. Route-finding is difficult. An ice ax is highly recommended. 7/1/14
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 5 A few patches of snow that can be tricky to navigate. Trekking poles will be helpful. 7/11/14
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 15 Patchy snow the last 3/4 miles. 7/9/14
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 5 Patchy snow the first 1/2 mile, then snow-free. The South Mowich River crossing is IN. 7/11/14
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 0 The South Mowich River crossing is IN. 7/12//14
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 2 7/12/14
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 5/17/14
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 1 7/21/14
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 2 Most of the remaining snow is in upper Berkeley Park, with a few patches near Frozen Lake. 7/9/14
Sunrise to White River Campground 3 7/1/14
White River Campground to Summerland 1 Nearly snow-free except patches of snow covering the upper portion of the switchbacks to Summerland. At the White River crossing check before crossing and use caution. This stretch of hot weather is making the river run high and fast water may be flowing over bridges and trail. 7/15/14
Summerland to Indian Bar 40 Summerland to Panhandle Gap is 30% snow covered; mostly snow-covered as you near Panhandle Gap. Many snow bridges are thinning or collapsing; test snow bridges before crossing. The bridge is IN over Fryingpan Creek crossing above Summerland. Panhandle Gap to Indian Bar is 50%snow covered; mostly snow covered down to around 6000 ft level, then mostly snow free to Indian Bar. Some snow patches cover the trail at the Indian Bar area. Use caution as you cross streams. Some of the well-established boot tracks are significantly off-route and following them may result in confusing and challenging navigation to get back on route.Come prepared with a good map and map skills to help you stay closer to the trail. 7/15/14
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 20 The area around the bridge over Wauhaupauken Falls has melted out. The first 2.5 mile from Indian Bar is about 60% snow covered. The remainder of the trail to Box Canyon is snow-free. Use caution as you step on small snow bridges covering the trail. 7/15/14
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

5

There is a section of trail just below Martha Falls that is problematic every year in that a section of the trail erodes away into Stevens Creek. Use caution if you attempt to travel across the slide area. 7/8/14
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 2 7/8/14
Narada Falls to Longmire 5 6/26/14


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 Bear poles are up, toilet is open. 5/26/14
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 0 Bear poles are up. 7/7/14
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') 0 5/26/14
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear poles up, toilet open. 6/8/14
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400')
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 0 712/14
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 0 Both bear poles are up and toilets open. 7/8/14
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole up and toilet open. 5/26/14


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 are up. Toilet is open. 7/20/14
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 0 Toilet open. Bear poles up. 7/9/14
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 0 Toilet is open, bear pole is up. 7/11/14
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 Bear poles are up and the toilet is open. 6/14/14
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Toilet is open and bear poles are up. 5/20/14
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear pole is up, toilet is open 6/15/14
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 0 Toilet is open. The bear pole is up. Some standing water in a few of the sites. 6/3/14
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Toilet open, bear pole up. 5/24/14
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 Toilet open, bear pole is up. 7/5/14
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 Bear poles are up and the toilet is open. 6/15/14


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, the toilet is open. 7/8/14
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 5/20/14
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 50 Bear pole is up, toilet is open 7/8/14
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Toilet open and bear pole is up. 7/8/14
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660')
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 60

The toilet open. Bear barrels are in place. The barrels are intended for food storage only. When you leave the camp please take all food items you left in the barrel with you.

6/28/14
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')

0 Both bear poles up, one toilet is open. 7/1/14
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') 15 Toilet is open, bear poles are up. 7/15/14
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 0 Toilet open and bear poles up. 7/8/14
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 0 The toilet is open, bear pole is up. 6/22/14
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Toilet open, bear pole is up. 6/21/14
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Toilet open, bear is up. 6/2/14
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 The bear pole is up, the toilet is open. 6/28/14
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 0 Bear pole is up. Toilet is open. 7/20/1414
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 0 Toilet is open, bear poles are up. 7/15/14
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 10 Bear poles are up. 7/8/14
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 60 Toilet is open, bear pole is up. 6/21/14
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 100 Toilet is open, bear pole is not up. 6/14/14
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Toilet is open, bear pole is up. 6/22/14
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 30 Toilet is open, bear pole is up. 7/8/14
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear pole is up. Use the vault toilet in Loop B. 5/30/14
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 30 Bear pole is up. Toilet is open. 7/9/14

Did You Know?

Artist rendering of the Osceola Mudflow releasing from Mount Rainier.

About 5,600 years ago the summit and northeast face of Mount Rainier fell away in a massive landslide accompanied by volcanic explosions. The Osceola Mudflow, a towering wall of mud and rock, thundered down the White River Valley where it deposited 600' of debris eventually reaching the Puget Sound.