Trails and Backcountry Camp Conditions

RETURN TO THE WILDERNESS CAMPING AND HIKING HOMEPAGE

ALERT: Mount Rainier National Park's permitting process may change for the 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we anticipate access to the Mount Rainier Wilderness during the summer season. Use limits, access, and procedures could change in response to local and national guidance. If your trip is affected by these changes, you will be contacted by Mount Rainier National Park staff.
 
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.

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.
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Carbon Glacier Trail 0 Lower Carbon Bridge is OUT. Crossing it is not advised. 07/09/2020
Chenuis Fall 0 Bridge is OUT! 07/03/2020
Green Lake 0 07/04/2020
Ipsut Falls 0 07/04/2020
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap No reports 07/09/2020
Paul Peak Trail 0 07/09/2020
Rain Forest Loop 0 07/09/2020
Spray Park 50 Snow 1/4 mile below Spray Park continuing through Spray Park. Winter travel skills including navigation required. 6 miles of navigation required. 07/04/2020
Seattle Park 100 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 07/04/2020
Tolmie Peak 70 Mowich Lake Road still closed due to snow. 07/092020


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 07/09/2020
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 90
r>
The foot log bridge just before Comet Falls is difficult to access due to a high snow bank. The handrail on the bridge is unstable, use caution. A fall would be fatal. Winter travel skills including navigation and self arrest required. Ice axe and boots recommended.
06/30/2020
Denman Falls Trail 0 07/09/2020
Eagle Peak Trail 25 Snow line is at about 5000ft. Winter travel skills including navigation and self arrest required. 06/19/2020
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) Not inside Mount Rainier National Park
Kautz Creek Trail 45 Patchy snow starts around 4000ft at the 3 mile bridge and becomes 90% snow-covered at about 4500ft. Navigation and winter travel skills required. Mosquitoes in lower elevations. 06/05/2020
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 30 Trail to Lake George is snow free. Trail from Lake George to Gobbler's Knob 50% snow covered. Navigation required to get to Gobblers Knob. 07/04/2020
Mildred Point Trail 100 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 06/05/2020
Mirror Lakes Trail 100 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 06/05/2020
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 100 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 07/04/2020
North Puyallup River Trail 0 07/09/2020
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 Wet and muddy! Prepare to get your feet wet. Please stay on the trail. Mosquitoes are OUT and hungry. 06/27/2020
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 0 Snow patches and standing water. 06/20/2020
Round Pass Trail 0 07/09/2020
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 5 07/04/2020
South Puyallup River Trail 0 A few downed trees. 06/12/2020
Trail of the Shadows 0 07/09/2020
Twin Firs Trail 0 Large trees across the trail. 06/05/2020
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
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) 60 Snow starts just above camp. Navigation required in snow. 07/01/2020
Eastside Trail 15 Snow patches start at 4200ft, 3/4 mile below SR 123-Cayuse Pass. Navigation required on extended stretches of snow covered trail. 5 downed trees. 07/04/2020
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 07/09/2020
Laughingwater Creek Trail No Report
Pacific Crest Trail - The Pacific Crest Trail runs mostly outside of Mount Rainier National Park
Shriner Peak Trail 25 Snow begins at 4900ft. Navigation required for last mile. 06/27/2020
Silver Falls Trail 0 07/09/2020

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 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Dead Horse Creek Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Fourth Crossing Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Glacier Vista Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Golden Gate Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
High Lakes Loop Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/092020
Moraine Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Nisqually Vista Trail

100

Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Paradise Glacier Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Pinnacle Peak Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Skyline Trail 100 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/09/2020
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 07/06/2020
Stevens Creek Trail 0 07/09/2020

Trails in the White River Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake) 90 Navigation Required. Multiple steep snow patches. 07/04/2020
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 60 South side of First Burroughs 60% snow. Steep snow covered slope. Sturdy boots and self arrest tool recommended. 07/09/2020
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 30 Steep snow covered slope above tree line. 06/29/2020
Crystal Lakes Trail 0 Some flowers are blooming. 06/29/2020
Crystal Peak Trail 0 Glacier Lillies blooming. Other flowers are starting to bloom. 06/22/2020
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 06/24/2020
Glacier Basin Trail 5 Snow patches hanging around 5500ft. 07/03/2020
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) No reports
Huckleberry Creek Trail 75 Steep snow slope covers long stretches of trail; Winter travel and navigation skills required; ice axe and self arrest skills recommended. 07/06/2020
Lake Eleanor Trail 65 Navigation required to approach Grand Park, which barely started to melt out. Wear water-proof boots and avoid stepping off trail where it is water covered or muddy. 06/19/2020
Mt. Fremont Trail 80 Many places with snow have the potential for long falls with BAD run outs. 07/01/2020
Naches Peak Trail 80 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 1/4 mile in middle is fully or partially melted out. 06/27/2020
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 10 Patchy snow begins 1/4 mile before Tamanos Camp. Some blooming flowers in the meadow near the lake. 06/24/2020
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 80 Mostly snow abaove 4000ft. 06/18/2020
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 20 Patchy snow between 1 mile from Chinook Pass parking lot and above Sheep Lake. Many blooming flowers along the trail. A great early summer hike destination. 06/27/2020
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 100 Chinook Pass to Naches Peak Trail junction: 100% snow covered. 2/3 of the trail requires crossing steep, sno-covered slopes and a fall could be disastrous. NOT RECOMMENDED for hikers at this time. 06/27/2020
Palisades Lakes Trail 20 Proper footwear/Poles advised. 07/04/2020
Silver Forest Trail
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 5 07/05/2020
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point)
Sunrise Rim Trail 50 Trail is wet and muddy where melted out. Wear proper footwear, and avoid stepping off trail and trampling emerging vegetations. 06/29/2020
Tipsoo Lake Trail 100 Keep off thinning lake ice. 06/27/2020

Wonderland Trail

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 15 Snow line starts atDevil's Dream Camp. Winter travel and navigation skills required. A rock hop is required to cross the Kautz Creek. 07/03/2020
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 40 Expert winter travel and navigational skills required. Ice axe and traction recommended in Klapatche Park and north of Klapatche Camp. 07/4/2020
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 80 Expert winter travel and navigational skills required. 06/12/2020
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 40 Snow starts around 4500ft. There is a steep and icy avalanche chute just north of Aurora Park. Microspikes and ice axe highly recommended. Navigation required. 06/19/2020
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 10 The first .75 miles north of Golden Lakes is mostly snow covered then it is snow free until almost Mowich Lake. The South Mowich River bridge is OUT and requires navigating 3 channels across various logs and trees, which may present a challenge for some. Several downed trees. 06/29/2020
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 5 Snow at Mowich Lake area, then snow free. Several downed trees. The South Mowich River bridge is OUT and requires navigating 3 channels across various logs and trees, which may present a challenge for some. 06/29/2020
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 30 Consistant snow starts around 4000ft. Winter travel and navigation skills required. Several downed trees. Mowich Lake is 90% snow-covered. 06/30/2020
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 30 The bridge at the lower Carbon River crossing is OUT. 06/19/2020
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 30 Granite Creek to Sunrise is 50% snow-covered. Mystic Camp to Sunrise is 30% snow covered. Navigation skills required. 6/28/2020
Sunrise to White River Campground 15 Trail is wet and muddy where recently melted out. White River bridge IN. 06/29/2020
White River Campground to Summerland 0 07/04/2020
Summerland to Indian Bar 100 Expert winter travel skills including navigation, self arrest, etc. required. Ice axe and microspikes highly recommended for snow slopes. Panhandle Gap has 7-10ft of snow with 3-5ft cornices on north side. 06/23/2020
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 60 98% snow from Indian Bar to Cowlitz Divide Junction. Expert winter travel and navigational skills required. Ice axe and microspikes highly recommended. Steep snow bank step down hazard at Wauhaupauken Falls bridge and crossing here is NOT ADVISED; cross further upstream at safe location and in a suitable/safe manner. 10% snow from the junction to Box Canyon. 06/23/2020
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

0

LANDSLIDE BETWEEN MAPLE CREEK CAMP AND MARTHA FALLS USE CAUTION WITH LOOSE SOIL AND FALLING ROCK. 07/07/2020
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 100 06/20/2020
Narada Falls to Longmire 5 06/28/2020


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')

Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 50 Bear Poe DOWN. 07/04/2019
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') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 06/12/2020
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 100 ROAD CLOSED. 2-6ft of snow. 06/18/2020
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 20 Bear poles UP. 06/28/2020
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 06/10/2020


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)
Summary
Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060') 50 One Bear pole is UP. Toilet open. Group site is still snow covered as well as 50% of the sites. 07/03/2020
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 20 A few sites are snow free. 07/30/2020
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 75 Bear Pole DOWN. Site 2 is snow free. 07/05/2020
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 90 Bear Pole Down. 06/10/2020
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Bear pole is UP. 06/15/2020
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 06/19/2020
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet Open. 07/03/2020
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear Pole up. Toilet open. 06/27/2020
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/02/2020
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 50 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. Two sites are useable. 06/12/2020

Eastside Backcountry Camps

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation)
Summary
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') 100 Bear Pole DOWN. 06/07/2020
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/04/2020
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 100 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/04/2020
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') Bear Pole DOWN. 10/5/2019
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 90 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/06/2020
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 0

Bear barrels IN. Toilet open.

06/29/2020
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
20 Bear Pole UP at individual sites. Bear pole down at Group site. 06/28/2020
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') 100 Bear poles DOWN. Toilet open. 06/23/2020
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 100 Bear pole DOWN. 06/07/2020
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 10 Bear pole UP. Toilet open 06/19/2020
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet is open. 06/07/2020
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 30 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. Group site 80% snow-free/ Site 1 40% snow free. Sites 2&3 100% snow free. 06/14/2020
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. Creek ford required to access the camp. 07/01/2020
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 50 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 06/27/2020
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 0 One bear poles up. Toilet is open. 07/04/2020
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 50 Bear boxes in. Toilet open. Most sites under at least 3ft of snow. 07/01/2020
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 50 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 3 out of 5 sites snow free. 06/24/2020
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 0 Bear pole DOWN. 10/22/2019
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet Open. 06/29/2020
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 70 Bear pole up. Toilet open. Site 1 snow covered. Site 2 snow free 07/04/2020
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear Pole UP. 06/20/2020
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 100 Bear Pole DOWN. 06/07/2020

Last updated: July 9, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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