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.

Do not leave valuables in your car. While break-ins are infrequent, they do occur.

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.

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 9:00 am and 4:30 pm at 360-569-6575.

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 Trail is snow free to the bottom of the Carbon Glacier except for 2 large piles of avalanche debris, one of them being 4'wide and 15' deep. Use CAUTION! The lower crossing is under water. 15 downed trees across the trail. 6/4/17
Chenuis Fall 0 7/14/17
Green Lake 0 6/2/17
Ipsut Falls 0 Snow Free. There is a small rock hop due to river encroachment. 6/17/17
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap 30 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 7/14/17
Paul Peak Trail 0 Snow free. Down trees and bridges out. 5/10/17
Rain Forest Loop 0 5/13/17
Spray Park 15

Trail is snow free from Mowich Lake to the beginning of Spray Park.

When the snow melts:

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.

7/8/17
Seattle Park 15 Patchy snow below 6100 feet. 3 Large snowfields about 200-300 feet across. 7/4/17
Tolmie Peak 0 7/14/17

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 Snow free. 6/7/17
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 5 Patches of snow above comet falls. There is snow at the comet Falls/Vantrump/Mildred Point junction, but the trail is visible to both Mildred Park and the Van Trump Park. 7/8 /17
Denman Falls Trail 0 6/17/17
Eagle Peak Trail 0 Snow slope on the north slope should NOT be walked on due to cornice. 7/14/17
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) - Outside the park. No report.
Kautz Creek Trail 10 7/14/17
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 0 7/9/17
Mildred Point Trail 5 7/14/17
Mirror Lakes Trail 30 7/15/17
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 0 7/15/17
North Puyallup River Trail 0 Trail is overgrown in areas. Parts of the trail are being inundated with water as deep as 1 foot. 6/16/17
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 6/17/17
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 5 7/15/17
Round Pass Trail 0 6/14/17
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 0 7/14/17
South Puyallup River Trail 0 There is a large washout about 1 mile from the Westside Road. Trail crew has etched out some stairs. 7/14/17
Trail of the Shadows 0 Snow-free 5/9/17
Twin Firs Trail 0 Snow-free 5/1/17
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. 6/18/17


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) 5 7/7/17
Eastside Trail 20 Snow-free from Ohanapecosh to 4250ft (2.3 miles north of Deer Creek Crossing), then navigation required. 7/2/17
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 05/26/17
Laughingwater Creek Trail 12 The trail is snow free until 0.75 miles before the cabin where the trail becomes patchy and navigation is required. 6/26/17
Pacific Crest Trail 60 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 7/1/17
Shriner Peak Trail 0 Beargrass is out!!! 7/15/17
Silver Falls Trail 0 05/26/17

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 Wilderness Information Center.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Several trails may be under construction. Please ask the rangers at the Jackson Visitor Center for more information. 7/21/17
Alta Vista Trail 40 7/14/17
Dead Horse Creek Trail 20 7/14/17
Fourth Crossing Trail 60 Navigation required. 7/14/17
Glacier Vista Trail 60 7/4/17
Golden Gate Trail 60 Navigation and winter travel skills required. Steep snow slopes. 5/13/17
High Lakes Loop Trail 15 7/18/17
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 5 7/20/17
Moraine Trail 15 7/21/17
Nisqually Vista Trail

1

7/14/17
Paradise Glacier Trail 50 Navigation required. 7/14/17
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 85 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 7/4/17
Pinnacle Peak Trail 5 2 Steep snow slopes. Boots and self arrest tool recommended. 7/20/17
Skyline Trail 50 Navigation and winter travel skills required. There are still large snow sections on the east side of the trail. Flowers are blooming in the lower meadows. 7/21/17
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 Flowers are here 7/18/17
Stevens Creek Trail 0 7/14/17

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 be mindful of where you step while hiking on trails in subalpine area to prevent damage to fragile vegetation.
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake) 50 Boots and trekking poles recommended. 7/12/17
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 15 Ice axe recommended. Winter travel skills required. 7/3/17
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 10 7/12/17
Crystal Lakes Trail 0 Meadows are becoming colorful with many wild flowers. 7/14/17
Crystal Peak Trail 0 A nice hike for flowers and grand view of the Mountain. 7/7/17
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 A section of trail is narrow, steep and pebly and may not be suitable for very young children. 7/12/17
Glacier Basin Trail 0 Prominent flowers include Penstemon, Yellow Monkey flower, and paintbrush. 7/12/17
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 5 Flowers are blooming. 7/14/17
Huckleberry Creek Trail 15 55% snow cover to Forest Lake. First 3/4 mile mostly snow and involves traversing on very steep snow. Good snow travel skills and equipment required. 7/4/17
Lake Eleanor Trail 0 7/7/17
Mt. Fremont Trail 0 7/5/17
Naches Peak Trail 20 A couple of short steep sections of snow. Bear grass is blooming on the south side. 7/16/17
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 15 Navigation and winter travel skills required. Variety of blooming flowers in Berkeley Park and Grand Park area. 7/12/17
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 0 Snow-free except small patches near the lakes. Meadows around the lakes are transitioning into mid-season flowers. 7/13/17
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 5 Flowers are fantastic! 7/12/17
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH form Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 1 Almost snow-free. Blooming flowers are plentiful. 7/11/17
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 80 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 7/1/17
Palisades Lakes Trail 5 Flowers in bloom. 7/9/17
Silver Forest Trail 0 7/7/17
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 7/12/17
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 30 7/12/17
Sunrise Rim Trail 5 Flowers are blooming 7/14/17
Tipsoo Lake Trail 50 Water and slushy snow on trail. 7/14/17

Wonderland Trail
All backcountry camping requires a permit. NAVIGATION AND WINTER TRAVEL SKILLS REQUIRED. Ice axe recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 0 7/14/17
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 0 7/12/17
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 5 7/14/17
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 0 7/14/17
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 0 7/14/17
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 0 South Mowich River crossing is IN! 7/23/17
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 0 Bridge is currently out. 6/15/17
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 5 7/11/17
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 7/09/17
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 0 7/5/17
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 15 7/5/17
Sunrise to White River Campground 5 Mostly snow free and simple to navigate. 7/14/17
White River Campground to Summerland 25 Trail is relatively snow free until crossing the Fryingpan Creek foot bridge. Navigation and winter travel skills required. Ice axe recommended for steep snow slopes. 6/30/17
Summerland to Indian Bar 90 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 7/1/17
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 60 Navigation and winter travel skills required. Ice axe recommended. 6/30/17
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

5

Trail is snow free until 3/4 mile of reflection lakes. 7/14/17
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 40 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 7/12/17
Narada Falls to Longmire 0 7/14/17

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 Pole up. Toilet open 6/10/17
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet Open. 6/30/17
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 6/9/17
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 7/7/17
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 snow free 5/12/17
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 0 7/14
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 2 Toilets are snow free. Bear poles are up. 7/5/17
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 6/15/17


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. 7/14/17
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 0 Bear pole is up and toilet is open. Mosquitos are out. 7/10/17
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 0 7/7/17
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 7/13/17
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 snow free. Bear Pole is up and toilet is open. 6/11/17
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') No report. 6/18/17
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 0 CLOSED until late July because of hazard tree issues. 7/14/17
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear pole is up and toilet is open. 6/9/17
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 50 Site 1 snow free. 7/14/17
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 bear poles are up 6/14/17

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 up. Toilet is open. Many Avalanche lilies blooming near camp 7/14/17
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet is open. 6/5/17
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 100 Camp Closed due to hazard trees. 7/7/17
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 7/4/17
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 60 Can fit 1 small tent. Bear pole is up and toilet is open. 7/4/17
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 10

Toilet open. 3 sites snow free. Others can fit at least one tent.

7/12/17
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
5 Toilets open. 1 bear pole up. 7/5/17
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120')0 100 7/11/17
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 100 6/4/17
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 0 Toilet open. Bear pole up. 7/14/17
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Toilet open. Bear pole up. 6/14/17
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 7/6/17
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 20 Two sites CLOSED until late July because of hazard tree issues. 1 site open and snow free. Bear pole up. Toilet under snow. 7/6/17
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 40 Toilet is open. Bear pole is up. 7/7/17
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 100 6/23/17
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 0 Toilet open. Bear boxes in. 7/14/17
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 0 Bear Pole is up. 7/10/17
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 100 2 feet of snow 6/26/17
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Bear Poles are up. Toilet open. 6/27/17
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 15 Site 1 30% snow. Site 2 snow-free. Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/9/17
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear pole up. 6/23/17
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 100 6/4/17

Last updated: July 23, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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