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 be being washed 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.

Winter Trail Conditions
Reported irregularly when limited winter staff are able to assess conditions. Please note the date for reports and recognize that changes may have occurred since the report. If a trail or area does not have a specific report, conditions are unknown as of the date of this summary. 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. Call and speak to a ranger for more information between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm at 360-569-6575.

Latest Report: Winter Trails Report- Check back for next report

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.

NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 trail reports.

Carbon Glacier Trail
Chenuis Fall 0 One bridge out 5/10/17
Green Lake
Ipsut Falls 0 Snow Free. There is a small rock hop due to river encroachment. 5/10/17
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap
Paul Peak Trail 0 Snow free. Down trees and bridges out. 5/10/17
Rain Forest Loop 0 5/13/17
Spray Park 100

Mowich Lake Road predicted to open 6/30/17.

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.

5/13/17
Seattle Park 100 Mowich Lake Road predicted to open 6/30/17. 5/13/17
Tolmie Peak 100 Mowich Lake Road predicted to open 6/30/17 5/13/17

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 NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 trail reports.
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 50 Trails starts clear then some snow that is easy to navigate through. However, the trail is obscured by heavy snow about 1/2 mile before the falls. 5/9/17
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail)
Denman Falls Trail
Eagle Peak Trail 70 Snow-free the first 1.5 miles, then good navigational skills required. 5/1/17
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) - Outside the park. No report.
Kautz Creek Trail 80 Snow-free the first mile, then good navigational skills required. 5/4/17
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail
Mildred Point Trail 85 Snow-free for first mile up the Wonderland Trail. Good navigational and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
Mirror Lakes Trail 100 Strong navigational and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls)
North Puyallup River Trail
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 20 Trail is snow-free from the Trail of the Shadows to just beyond the signed view point (about 2 milees). The ridge is snow-covered and requires some navigational skills. Be cautious of post-holing. 5/24/17
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 45 A large stretch along the top of the ridge is still snow-covered. Navigational and winter travel skills required. 5/5/17
Round Pass Trail
Saint Andrews Creek Trail
South Puyallup River Trail
Trail of the Shadows 0 Snow-free 5/9/17
Twin Firs Trail 0 Snow-free 5/1/17
Tahoma Creek 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.


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 NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 trail reports.
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail)
Eastside Trail
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail
Laughingwater Creek Trail
Pacific Crest Trail
Shriner Peak Trail
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). All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtaining backcountry camping permits daily at the Longmire Information Center.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 trail reports.
Alta Vista Trail 100 Navigation required. 5/13/17
Dead Horse Creek Trail 100 Navigation required. 5/13/17
Fourth Crossing Trail 100 Navigation required. 5/13/17
Glacier Vista Trail 100 Navigation required. 5/13/17
Golden Gate Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
High Lakes Loop Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 100 Navigation required. 5/13/17
Moraine Trail 100 Navigation required. 5/13/17
Nisqually Vista Trail

100

Navigation required. 5/13/17
Paradise Glacier Trail 100 Navigation required. 5/13/17
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
Pinnacle Peak Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
Skyline Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/13/17
Stevens Creek Trail 100 Navigation required. 5/9/17

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 NOTE: The road to Sunrise is currently not open. The projected date is June 30, 2017. Trail conditions are unknown. 5/9/17
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Crystal Lakes Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Crystal Peak Trail 70 Mostly snow free from the trailhead to the Crystal Peak Trail Junction. Navigation and winter travel skills required beyond the junction. 5/25/17
Emmons Moraine Trail 35 BRIDGE IS OUT. Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/25/17
Glacier Basin Trail 30 Mostly snow free for 2 miles. At 2 miles there is a 250 ft. swath of avalanche debris. Navigation and winter travel skills required beyond this. 5/25/17
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Huckleberry Creek Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Lake Eleanor Trail
Mt. Fremont Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Naches Peak Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123)
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH form Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Palisades Lakes Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Silver Forest Trail 100 5/12/17
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Sunrise Rim Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Tipsoo Lake Trail 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17

Wonderland Trail
All backcountry camping requires a permit.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 trail reports. See above for Winter Trail Reports.
Longmire to Indian Henry's 85 Snow-free for the first mile. Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
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 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Sunrise to White River Campground 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
White River Campground to Summerland 80 BRIDGE ACROSS THE WHITE RIVER IS OUT! Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/25/17
Summerland to Indian Bar 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Indian Bar to Box Canyon
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 100 Navigation and winter travel skills required. 5/12/17
Narada Falls to Longmire 60 Snow-free the last 2 miles. Navigation required. 5/9/17

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) NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 camp reports.
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')

Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 100 5/12/17
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185')
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 100 5/12/17
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 snow free 5/12/17
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 100 5/12/17
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 100 5/12/17
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605')


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) NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 camp reports.
Summary
Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060') 100 5/12/17
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 100 5/12/17
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 100 5/12/17
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 100 5/12/17
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') Two sites CLOSED until late July because of hazard tree issues. 5/9/17
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750')
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 100 CLOSED until late July because of hazard tree issues. 5/12/17
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765')
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 100 5/12/17
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000')

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) NOTE: Check back for summer 2017 camp reports.
Summary
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') 100 5/12/17
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950')
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 100 5/12/17
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300')
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 100 5/12/17
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 100

5/12/17
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
100 5/12/17
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120')0 100 5/12/17
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 100 5/12/17
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 100 5/12/17
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 100 5/12/17
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') CLOSED until late July because of hazard tree issues. 5/9/17
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') Two sites CLOSED until late July because of hazard tree issues.
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 100 5/12/17
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 100 5/12/17
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 100 5/12/17
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 100 5/12/17
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 100 5/12/17
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 100 5/12/17
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 100 5/12/17
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 100 5/12/17
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 100 5/12/17

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

Contact Us