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

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 washing 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. Expect log footbridges and other river crossings to be washed out during the fall/winter, when powerful rain events are common. These crossings are not replaced until the following spring/summer. Be prepared... mountain weather is good one minute, daunting the next. Learn more about hiking safety.

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. Learn more about winter recreation.
Do not leave valuables in your car. While break-ins are infrequent, they do occur.

NOTE: Please note the date for reports and recognize that changes may have occurred since the report. Conditions are updated when there is new information. Call and speak to a ranger for more information between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm at 360-569-6650.

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.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season unless otherwise noted. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary

The Carbon River Ranger Station 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 summer 2019
Carbon Glacier Trail 0 Snow free to the Carbon Glacier. 5/17/2019
Chenuis Fall 0 6/9/2019
Green Lake 0 6/6/2019
Ipsut Falls 0 6/6/2019
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap 15 Trail is snow free to Bee Flat where there is a short stretch of snow. It is then snow free again until 0.5 miles before windy gap. 6/7/2019
Paul Peak Trail -
Rain Forest Loop 0 6/6/2019
Spray Park -
Seattle Park 20 Trail from Carbon River to Cataract Valley camp is mostly snow free. Trail to Seattle park is mostly snow covered requiring winter travel skills. 5/31/2019
Tolmie Peak 60 Navigation required. 5/28/2019

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 Museum.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season unless otherwise noted. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary . Check back summer 2019
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 0 6/6/2019
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 5 Trail to Comet Falls is mostly snow free. 6/10/2019
Denman Falls Trail 0 6/10/2019
Eagle Peak Trail 15 Trail is mostly snow free for the fist 3 miles. Easy to navigate through the snow. Flowers blooming at the saddle. Be cautious of snow cornice at the saddle. 6/13/2019
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) - Outside the park. No report.
Kautz Creek Trail 30 Consistant snow at 4800 feet, about 4 miles above the trailhead. Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/17/2019
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 50 Trail to Lake George is snow free. Consistant snow begins just above Lake George. Winter travel skills required to get to Gobblers Knob. 5/27/2019
Mildred Point Trail 90 Snow starts 0.1 mile above the Mildred Point/VanTrump Park Trail Junction. Winter travel and navigation skills required. 6/15/2019
Mirror Lakes Trail 60 Winter travel skills required including navigation. 6/6/2019
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 95 Winter travel skills required including navigation. 6/6/2019
North Puyallup River Trail 0 Snow free from the Westside Road 6/6/2019
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 Snow free. 6/1/2019
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 10 Consistant snow at 5500ft. Navigation and winter travel skills required. 6/15/2019
Round Pass Trail 0 5/27/2019
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 5 Continuous snow begins just 350 feet before arriving at Aurora Lake. 6/6/2019
South Puyallup River Trail 10 Snow starts about 1/4mile above camp at 4400 feet. 5/19/2019
Trail of the Shadows 0 6/6/2019
Twin Firs Trail 0 6/6/2019
Tahoma Creek Trail 0 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. There are only remnants of this trail remaining. Navigation is difficult and the route is hazardous. It is NOT recommended to hike Tahoma Creek Trail. 6/6/2019

Trails in the Ohanapecosh Area

All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain permits at the Longmire Museum or self register at the Park boundary on Hwy 123.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are currently down for the season unless otherwise noted. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back summer 2019
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) 10 Snow starts at 3900' and becomes solid near the creek. Camp is 85% snow. Ollalie Creek is running high. Crossing to camp is knee deep (but not turbulent) as the bridge is out. 6/6/2019
Eastside Trail 40 Nearly snow free south of Deer Creek. Expert winter and navigation skills required north of Deer Creek. 5/23/2019
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 6/6/2019
Laughingwater Creek Trail -
Pacific Crest Trail - The Pacific Crest Trail runs mostly outside of Mount Rainier National Park
Shriner Peak Trail 20 Continuous snow begins at 3.25 miles. Some navigation required. Camp is 50% snow covered. 6/8/2019
Silver Falls Trail 0 6/6/2019

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 (Twitter account not required to view). All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtaining backcountry camping permits daily at the Longmire Museum.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season unless otherwise noted. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Alta Vista Trail 50 Wear proper footwear. 6/15/2019
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 50

Wear proper footwear. 6/15/2019
Paradise Glacier Trail -
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 100 Wear proper footwear. 6/15/2019
Pinnacle Peak Trail -
Skyline Trail 80 Winter Travel and navigation skills required. 6/15/2019
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 10 Continuous snow for last .2 miles. 6/9/2019
Stevens Creek Trail 0 6/14/2019

Trails in the White River Area

Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season unless otherwise noted. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back summer 2019
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake) -
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail -
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail -
Crystal Lakes Trail 15 Snow begins at 2.85 miles. Intermittent snow until upper/lower lake junction. Lower Crystal Lake to Upper Crystal Lake trail is 25% snow covered. 6/12/2019
Crystal Peak Trail 3 About 400-ft long section under steep snow slope 3.24 miles from the trailhead. An ice axe, sturdy boots and knowledge of self arrest techniques recommended for crossing this section. Flowers are starting to bloom on above timberline. 6/3/2019
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 6/17/2019
Glacier Basin Trail 15 Continuous snow begins at mile 2.5, approximately 5500ft. 6/8/2019
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 50 Sunrise to Grand Park-Berkeley Park Junction is 60% snow covered. Trail is 80% snow covered from grand park junction-Fire Creek
Huckleberry Creek Trail -
Lake Eleanor Trail 0
Mt. Fremont Trail -
Naches Peak Trail 80 Snow travel and navigation skills required. 6/12/2019
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap -
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 25 Snow begins about a quarter mile from Tamanos Camp. Navigation required to get to the lakes. 6/11/2019
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 10 Snow level is at 5000ft. Navigation required. 6/5/2019
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 80 6/13/2019
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 80 6/13/2019
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 80 6/12/2019

Wonderland Trail

All backcountry camping requires a permit. Please obtain a permit at the Longmire Museum.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season unless otherwise noted. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended. Hiking the Wonderland Trail is not recommended October-June due to potential flooding with river fords, snow-covered trails, etc.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Check back summer 2019
Longmire to Indian Henry's 15 Continuous snow starts just below Squaw Lake. Navigation required beyond Squaw Lake. 6/14/2019
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 40 Continuous snow in the Indian Henry's area for about 1 mile. Snow for about 1/2 mile on each side of Emerald Ridge. Winter travel and navigation skills required. 6/12/2019
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 50 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 6/12/2019
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River -
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 20 Snow line is at 4800-4900 ft. Navigation required from Sunset Park area to Golden Lakes. 6/4/2019
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River -
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake -
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 10 Mostly snow free with some patchy snow. Mostly snow free from the pass to the west shore of the lake. Mostly snow-covered along the south shore of the lake. 5/30/2019
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 5/28/2019
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake -
Mystic Lake to Sunrise -
Sunrise to White River Campground 40 Patchy snow starts at 5350ft. Above 6200ft nearly all snow with winter travel and navigation skills required. 6/11/2019
White River Campground to Summerland 15 Small patches of snow before the Fryingpan Creek crossing. Continuous snow beyond the creek with navigation and self arrest tools recommended. Bridge above Summerland Camp is melted out. 6/9/2019
Summerland to Indian Bar 100 Mostly snow covered. Winter travel skills and navigation skills required. Bridge above Summerland melted out. Cautions: Post-holing, snow bridges above creeks. Ice axe and traction recommended. 6/9/2019
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 70 First 2 miles mostly snow free. Consistant snow begins at about 4600 feet. Expert winter and navigation skills required. 5/23/2019
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

10

LANDSLIDE BETWEEN MAPLE CREEK CAMP AND MARTHA FALLS. Navigation required to Reflection Lakes. 6/9/2019
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.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are currently being taken down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

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.

Check back summer 2019

Carbon River Camp #4/1 (3195')

0 Bear pole UP. 5/17/2019
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 0 Bear Poe UP. Toilet open. 6/1/2019
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') - Bridge to camp is out. Dangerous crossing. 5/31/2019
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') - Bear Poles DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 Bear Pole UP. 10/8/18
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') - Bear Box in. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') - Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') - Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 10/8/18

Longmire/Paradise Area Backcountry Camps

All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain Wilderness Camping permits daily at the Longmire Wilderness Information Center (Summer only), the Longmire Museum (open year-round) or The Paradise Visitor Center.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation)
Summary Check back summer 2019
Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060') 0 6/14/2019
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 50 1 bear pole is up. Toilet open. 6/24/2019
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 20 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. Site 2-4 are snow free. Site 3 has some standing water. Site 1 is snow covered. 6/13/2019
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') - Bear pole is DOWN. 10/8/18
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') - Bear pole is DOWN. 10/8/18
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 6/4/2019
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') CLOSED CLOSED DUE TO HAZARD TREES 10/8/18
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 5/19/2019
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 50 Bear pole UP. Toilet OPEN. site 1 is snow free. Site 2 is 90% snow covered. 6/9/2019
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 10 Bear Poles UP 5/19/2019

Eastside Backcountry Camps

All backcountry camps require a permit. Please self register at the Park boundary on Hwy 123.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation)
Summary
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') 60 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 10 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 5/23/2019
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') - Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. Hornet's nest near bear pole. 10/8/18
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear Pole up. 10/8/18
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') - Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') -

1 Bear barrel IN. Toilet open.

6/8/2019
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
- Bear poles DOWN. 10/8/18
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') - Bear poles DOWN. 10/8/18
James Camp #3/1 (4620') - Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') CLOSED Closed for the season due to hazard trees toilet is open. 10/8/18
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Toilet open. Bear pole UP. 6/12/2019
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear Pole up. Toilet open 5/23/2019
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 85 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 1 site snow free. 6/6/2019
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 50 Bear pole DOWN. 6/16/2019
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 100 Group site bear pole up. Individual site bear poles DOWN. Toilet open. Group site accessible. 24-36 inches of snow. 6/7/19
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 100 All sites snow covered. Toilet is open. One bear box is accessible. 6/11/2019
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 60 Bear pole DOWN. No sites are completely melted out yet. 6/11/2019
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') - Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 50 Sites 1 and 2 partially snow free. Bear pole Down. Toilet accessible 6/12/2019
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') - Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') - Use bear box for food storage. 10/8/18
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 60 Bear Pole DOWN. 6/7/2019

Last updated: June 17, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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