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.

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.
Winter trail conditions are not recorded here between October-June. For updated trail conditions please call the Carbon River Ranger Station at: 360-829-9639

10/22/2019
Carbon Glacier Trail
Chenuis Fall
Green Lake
Ipsut Falls
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap
Paul Peak Trail
Rain Forest Loop
Spray Park
Seattle Park
Tolmie Peak


Trails in the Longmire Area

The main road to Longmire is OPEN year round.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Winter trail conditions are not recorded here between October-June. For updated trail conditions please call the Longmire Museum at: 360-569-6575 10/22/2019
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
Tahoma Creek Trail CLOSED DUE TO DEBRIS FLOW AND HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS. THE TAHOMA CREEK HAS TAKEN OVER THE 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. 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. 8/10/2019

Trails in the Ohanapecosh Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Winter trail conditions are not recorded here between October-June.
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) Snow begins at 4000ft. navigation required above 4000ft. 10/22/2019
Eastside Trail
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
Laughingwater Creek Trail Snow begins at 4000ft. Navigation required above 4000ft. 10/22/2019
Pacific Crest Trail - The Pacific Crest Trail runs mostly outside of Mount Rainier National Park
NOTE: Several PCT-thru-hikers reported the trail is mostly snow free where it runs through Mount Rainier National Park.
7/7/2019
Shriner Peak Trail Snow begins at 4000ft. Navigation required above 4000ft. 10/22/2019
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 (Twitter account not required to view).

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Winter trail conditions are not recorded here betwen October-June. For updated trail conditions please call the Longmire Museum at: 360-569-6575 10/22/2019
Alta Vista Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Dead Horse Creek Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Fourth Crossing Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Glacier Vista Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Golden Gate Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
High Lakes Loop Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Moraine Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Nisqually Vista Trail

100

Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Paradise Glacier Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Pinnacle Peak Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Skyline Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 10/22/2019
Stevens Creek Trail

Trails in the White River Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Winter trail conditions are not recorded here between October-June. White River Road and Sunrise Road is CLOSED for the season. 10/22/2019
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake)
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 from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap.
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction
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

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Winter trail conditions are not recorded here between October-June. As of 10/22/2019 the trail above 4000ft in elevation is 100% snow covered requiring winter skills including navigation, self arrest, and possible river fords. This hike is not recommended from October-July. 10/22/2019
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

LANDSLIDE BETWEEN MAPLE CREEK CAMP AND MARTHA FALLS USE CAUTION WITH LOOSE SOIL AND FALLING ROCK. 9/30/2019
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.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Bear Poles are being DOWN for the season. Please bring a bear canister or other proper food storage system. Camp conditions may not be known and are not recorded here between October-June. As of 10-22-2019 all camps above 4000ft are 100% snow-covered. 10/22/2019
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')

Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') Bear Poe DOWN. 10/22/2019
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') Bear Poles DOWN. 10/22/2019
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') Bear Pole UP. 6/20/2019
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') ROAD CLOSED FOR THE WINTER SEASON. 10/22/2019
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') Bear poles DOWN. 10/22/2019
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 10/22/2019


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 (open weekends only from October-June).

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Bear Poles are being DOWN for the season. Please bring a bear canister or other proper food storage stystem. Camp conditions may not be known and are not recorded here between October-June. As of 10/22/2019 all camps above 4000ft are 100% snow-covered. 10/22/2019
Summary
Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060') Bear pole is DOWN. 10/22/2019
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') Bear pole is DOWN. 10/22/2019
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') Bear pole is DOWN. 10/22/2019
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') Bear pole is DOWN. 10/22/2019
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') Bear Poles DOWN. 10/22/2019
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') CLOSED CLOSED DUE TO HAZARD TREES 6/20/2019
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/5/2019
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/08/2019

Eastside Backcountry Camps

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Bear Poles are DOWN for the season. Please bring a bear canister or an approved food storage system. Camp conditions may not be known and are not recorded here between October-June. As of 10/22/2019 all camps above 4000ft are 100% snow-covered. 10/22/2019
Summary
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/5/2019
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/5/2019
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') Bear pole DOWN. 10/2/2019
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965')

Bear barrels NOT in .

10/10/2019
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
Bear Poles DOWN. 10/22/2019
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') Bear poles DOWN. 10/22/2019
James Camp #3/1 (4620') Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') Bear pole DOWN. 10/12/2019
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') Bear pole DOWN. 10/9/2019
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') Bear poles are DOWN. 10/22/2019
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') Bear boxes in. 10/22/2019
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') Bear pole DOWN. 10/5/2019
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/2019
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/2019
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') Bear pole is DOWN. 10/22/2019
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/5/2019

Last updated: October 22, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

Contact Us