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.

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 0 Bog Gentian and Fall Colors! 7/12/2019
Paul Peak Trail 0 9/26/2019
Rain Forest Loop 0 6/6/2019
Spray Park 0 9/9/2019
Seattle Park 0 8/2/2019
Tolmie Peak 0 7/17/2019


Trails in the Longmire Area

The main road to Longmire is OPEN year round.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 0 6/6/2019
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 0 8/1/2019
Denman Falls Trail 0 6/10/2019
Eagle Peak Trail 0 Blueberries and huckleberries are good in the meadows! 9/7/2019
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) - Outside the park. No report.
Kautz Creek Trail 0 Beargrass is abundant. Avalanche lillies are out. Lupine and Paintbrush are just starting to bloom. 7/12/2019
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 0 8/12/2019
Mildred Point Trail 0 7/25/2019
Mirror Lakes Trail 0 7/25/2019
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 0 7/7/2019
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) 0 Mosquitoes are out! 7/22/2019
Round Pass Trail 0 5/27/2019
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 0 8/1/2019
South Puyallup River Trail 0 There is a washout zone. Pay attention to where the trail goes. 7/5/2019
Trail of the Shadows 0 6/6/2019
Twin Firs Trail 0 6/6/2019
Tahoma Creek Trail 0 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
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) 0 Crossing to camp is knee deep (but not turbulent) as the bridge is out. 6/22/2019
Eastside Trail 0 Snow free all the way up to Tipsoo Lake. 7/7/2019
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 6/6/2019
Laughingwater Creek Trail 0 6/21/2019
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 0 No water 9/26/2019
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).

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Alta Vista Trail 0 7/15/2019
Dead Horse Creek Trail 0 7/15/2019
Fourth Crossing Trail 0 7/6/2019
Glacier Vista Trail 0 7/29/2019
Golden Gate Trail 0 8/3/2019
High Lakes Loop Trail 0 Blueberries and huckleberries are good! 9/8/2019
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 40 40 percent of trail between the Lakes Trail and Skyline junction is covered with a light layer of compact snow and ice, but the trail tread is visible. Most snow is on the steep up-hills and in the trees. The trail in the meadow on Mazama Ridge is snow free. 10/122019
Moraine Trail 0 7/29/2019
Nisqually Vista Trail 0

7/6/2019
Paradise Glacier Trail 10 Navigation required. 7/20/2019
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 100 Wear proper footwear. Navigation required in inclement weather. Not reccommended in inclement weather. Cracks opening, use caution! 9/9/2019
Pinnacle Peak Trail 0 7/15/2019
Skyline Trail 20 Some steep snow slopes and hard packed snow/ice on the east side of the skyline trail. Traction and trekking poles recommended. 10/12/2019
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 7/6/2019
Stevens Creek Trail 0 6/14/2019

Trails in the White River Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake) 0 9/1/2019
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 0 9/1/2019
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 0 9/1/2019
Crystal Lakes Trail 10 10/8/2019
Crystal Peak Trail 20 10/10/2019
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 6/17/2019
Glacier Basin Trail 80 There is about 3 inches of snow at Glacier Basin. 10/10/2019
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 0 8/1/2019
Huckleberry Creek Trail 80 10/2/2019
Lake Eleanor Trail 0 9/1/2019
Mt. Fremont Trail 90 The trail from Frozen Lake to Fremont Lookout has a well-established boot pack, but is exposed with hard pack snow/ice. Good tread, traction, and trekking poles are recommended. 10/5/2019
Naches Peak Trail 0 Flowers in bloom. 7/12/2019
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 0 8/6/2019
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 0 7/11/2019
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 0 6/29/2019
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 0 9/9/2019
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 0 9/9/2019
Palisades Lakes Trail 50 Trail is Icy on north facing slopes. Microspikes and trekking poles recommended. 10/6/2019
Silver Forest Trail 0 7/4/2019
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 0 9/9/2019
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 0 7/20/2019
Sunrise Rim Trail 0 7/4/2019
Tipsoo Lake Trail 0 Flowers are just starting to bloom. 7/4/2019

Wonderland Trail

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 15 10/4/2019
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 10 10/4/2019
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 40 .Winter travel and navigation skills required. 10/4/2019
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 50 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 10/3/2019
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 20 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 10/3/2019
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 10 One bridge is out across the S. Mowich River. Follow the flagging to cross two logs. Always use caution and your best judgement if conditions change, as conditions change often. Winter travel and navigation skills required. 10/3/2019
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 5 10/3/2019
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 0 10/3/2019
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 10/2/2019
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 5 10/2/2019
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 0 7/31/2019
Sunrise to White River Campground 50 10/1/2019
White River Campground to Summerland 2 Fryingpan Creek trailhead to Summerland is 50% snow-covered. Last switchbacks up to Summerland are snow-covered and icy. Microspikes and trekking poles recommended. 10/6/2019
Summerland to Indian Bar 50 Good navigation and winter travel skills required from Indian Bar to Panhandle Gap. Up to 2 feet of snow in some sections. 10/1/2019
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 5 9/30/2019
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

0

LANDSLIDE BETWEEN MAPLE CREEK CAMP AND MARTHA FALLS USE CAUTION WITH LOOSE SOIL AND FALLING ROCK. 9/30/2019
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 20 Light layer of compact snow and ice 10/12/2019
Narada Falls to Longmire 0 9/30/2019


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 taken down for the season. Please bring a bear canister or other proper food storage system. 10/10/2019
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')

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') 0 Bear pole UP. 6/19/2019
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear Poles up. Toilet open. 7/7/2019
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 Bear Pole UP. 6/20/2019
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 0 Bear Box in. Toilet open. 7/7/2019
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 100 Bear poles UP. Toilet open. 10/2/2019
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 6/20/2019


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.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Bear Poles are being taken down for the season. Please bring a bear canister or other proper food storage stystem. 10/10/2019
Summary
Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060') 5 Bear pole is DOWN. Toilet open. 10/5/2019
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 100 Bear pole is up. Toilet open. 10/3/2019
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 100 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/3/2019
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 Bear pole is UP. Toilet open. 6/19/2019
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Bear pole is up. Toilet open. 6/19/2019
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 6/20/2019
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/5/2019
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet OPEN. 6/30/2019
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet OPEN. 10/82019

Eastside Backcountry Camps

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation) Bear Poles are being taken down for the season. Please bring a bear canister or an approved food storage system. 10/10/2019
Summary
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/5/2019
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 5/23/2019
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. 7/7/2019
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/5/2019
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 100 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/2/2019
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 100

Bear barrels NOT in . Toilet open.

10/10/2019
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
0 1 Bear poles UP at individual sites. Bear pole DOWN at group site. 7/4/2019
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') 100 Bear poles up. Toilet open. 10/1/2019
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/5/2019
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/12/2019
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Toilet open. Bear pole DOWN. 10/9/2019
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear Pole up. Toilet open 6/22/2019
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 Bear Pole up. Toilet open. 6/22/2019
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/1/2019
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 100 Bear poles are up. Toilet is open. 10/1/2019
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 100 Bear boxes in. Toilet Open. 10/2/2019
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/5/2019
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 7/4/2019
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/2019
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/2019
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear pole is up. Toilet open. 6/1/2019
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/5/2019

Last updated: October 13, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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