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 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 6/9/18
Chenuis Fall 0 All bridges are in. 6/9/18
Green Lake 0 5/26/18
Ipsut Falls 0 6/11/18
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap 25 There are a few snow patches below Yellowstone Cliffs Camp, then it is snow-free again until about .25 miles beyond camp. The trail is then mostly snow-covered to Windy Gap. 6/11/18
Paul Peak Trail 0 A few trees are down. Bridges are out over the North and South Mowich Rivers. 6/1/18
Rain Forest Loop 0 6/18/18
Spray Park 50


Mowich Lake Road estimated to open June 28th.
Winter travel and navigation skills required. Consistant snow starts on the switchbacks above Spray Falls.
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.

6/3/18
Seattle Park 40 Mowich Lake Road estimated to open June 28th.
Tolmie Peak Mowich Lake Road estimated to open June 28th.

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 5/27/18
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 10 Last .25 mile to the falls is 50% snow-covered. There is a short steep snow-slope just before the falls. Use extra caution; falling in this area could be fatal. 6/10/18
Denman Falls Trail No reports for 2018
Eagle Peak Trail 30 Patchy snow starts at 4400ft, consistant snow starts at 5000ft. Navigation required to get to the saddle. 5/27/18
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) - Outside the park. No report.
Kautz Creek Trail 30 Consistant snow begins at 5200ft. Good navigation skills required. 6/3/18
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 5 & 100 The trail to Lake George is 5% snow-covered. Patchy snow begins just before Round Pass. The trail from Lake George to Gobbler's Knob is 100% snow covered with navigation and winter skills required. 5/28/18
Mildred Point Trail 10 Trail is snow-free to the Mildred Point/Comet Falls Junction. Mosquitoes are out on Rampart Ridge. Navigation required. 6/18/18
Mirror Lakes Trail 100 Expert navigational skills required 6/2/18
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 0 6/13/18
North Puyallup River Trail 0 6/5/18
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 Mountain Heather is starting to bloom. Mosquitoes are out. 6/17/18
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 10 Trail is snow-free to the Mildred Point/Comet Falls Junction. Mosquitoes are out on Rampart Ridge. Navigation required. 6/17/18
Round Pass Trail 0 6/1/18
Saint Andrews Creek Trail No reports for 2018
South Puyallup River Trail 0 Washout along the trail. Minor navigational skills required. 6/1/18
Trail of the Shadows 0 6/3/18
Twin Firs Trail 0 6/3/18
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. 6/3/18

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) No reports for 2018 5/28/18
Eastside Trail 30 Snow free from the Grove of the Patriarchs to Deer Creek. 5/27/18
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 5/28/18
Laughingwater Creek Trail No reports for 2018 6/3/18
Pacific Crest Trail No reports for 2018
Shriner Peak Trail 50 Winter travel and navigation sills required. 6/3/18
Silver Falls Trail 0 5/28/18

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 5/28/18
Alta Vista Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Dead Horse Creek Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Fourth Crossing Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Glacier Vista Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Golden Gate Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
High Lakes Loop Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Moraine Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Nisqually Vista Trail

100

Trail is marked with poles as an out and back. It is currently not a loop. 5/28/18
Paradise Glacier Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Pinnacle Peak Trail 100 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Skyline Trail 95 Navigation skills required 5/28/18
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 50 Navigation skills required 6/21/18
Stevens Creek Trail 0 5/28/18

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
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake) Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Crystal Lakes Trail 0 6/23/18
Crystal Peak Trail 1 Snow free except two 70ft sections of trail. Wildflowers are starting to pop! 6/11/18
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 Use caution on rough and narrow section from the bridge to ridge line. Loose slide about 150ft before the end of maintained trail sign. 6/17/18
Glacier Basin Trail 16 Snow free for 2.5 miles then 95% snow cover to Glacier Basin Camp. Wear proper footwear for mud and snow. Please refrain from stepping off the trail. Be aware of snow bridges. 6/23/18
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Huckleberry Creek Trail Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Lake Eleanor Trail 75 Be prepared for snow and mud. Navigation required. Grand Park is snow-covered. Note: FR 73 is snow free and clear but expect a lot of pot holes. 6/6/18
Mt. Fremont Trail 100 Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th. 06/14/18
Naches Peak Trail 96 Winter travel and navigation skills required.
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 5 Solid snow begins just below Tamanos Camp. 6/1/18
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) No reports for 2018
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 70 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 6/19/18
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 100 Winter travel and navigation skills required. 6/19/18
Palisades Lakes Trail
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Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Silver Forest Trail Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th.
Sunrise Rim Trail Sunrise Road is estimated to open on June 28th. 6/7/18
Tipsoo Lake Trail 100 Winter travel and navigation skills required 6/7/18

Wonderland Trail

All backcountry camping requires a permit.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 15 Snow free from Longmire to Devil's Dream.Navigation and winter travel skills required. The trail has been washed out across Kautz Creek. Minor navigation required at Kautz Creek. 6/15/18
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 50 Navigation and winter travel skills required. Snow line begins around 5000ft. 6/5/18
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 70 Navigation and winter travel skills required. Snow line begins around 5000ft. 6/5/18
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 60 Navigation and winter travel skills required. Snow line begins around 5000ft. 6/5/18
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 30 Navigation and winter travel skills required. Snow line begins around 5000ft. 6/5/18
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River No reports for 2018
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake No reports for 2018
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 10 Snow-free until a few switchbacks below Ipsut Pass. The trail is mostly snow-free from Ipsut Pass to the Tolmie Peak trailhead on the Mowich road. Still some snow on the trail along the Mowich Lake shore. 6/10/18
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 Bridge is now IN over the lower crossing. The landslide has been fixed. 6/11/18
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 25 Snow free to 1 mile above Dick Creek (Moraine Creek crossing), then mostly snow covered for about 0.75 miles, then mostly snow free the rest of the way to Mystic Lake. Navigation required. Dick Creek is now running around the end of the foot log and requires rock hopping on slippery rocks. 6/17/18
Mystic Lake to Sunrise No reports for 2018
Sunrise to White River Campground 10 Water is running high at the falls, trekking poles recommended, be prepared to get wet. 6/20/18
White River Campground to Summerland 30 The last 2 miles is 90% snow-covered with navigation required. Hazards include snow bridges and post holing. 6/6/18
Summerland to Indian Bar 99 Navigation DIFFICULT! The upper Fryingpan Creek bridge is OUT. Snow bridges over this crossing are starting to open up and thin out. Post holing and thinning snow bridges are present where snow exists. Ice axe/whippet, trekking poles, boots and navigation tool recommended. 6/21/18
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 63 Indian Bar to 0.5 miles above the junction with the Cowlitz Divide Trail is snow covered; navigation is difficult through some of these sections. 6/21/18
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

15

LANDSLIDE between Sylvia Falls and Martha Falls. Crossing the landslide is NOT recommended! Snow begins below Louise Lake. Martha Falls bridge is partially submerged in the river. Use caution when crossing. 5/29/18
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 90 Navigation required to Reflection Lakes. 6/17/18
Narada Falls to Longmire 5 6/13/18

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) 9/22/17
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. 5/30/18
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 20 Bear Pole up. Toilet open. 6/18/18
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') No reports for 2018
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 6/5/18
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 5/27/18
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 95 6/3/18
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 15 Toilets melted out. Bear Pole Down. 6/17/18
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') No reports for 2018

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') 15 2 bear poles up. Toilet open. Sites 1,3,5, and 7 are snow free. 6/15/18
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') No reports for 2018
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') No reports for 2018
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 20 Bear pole is UP. Sites #1,3,4 snow free. 5/28/18
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Bear pole is UP. Toilet is open. 5/29/18
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet is open. 6/5/18
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') CLOSED CLOSED DUE TO HAZARD TREES 5/28/18
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 5/28/18
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 100 Bring bear canister and blue bags. 6/1/18
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet is open. 6/5/18

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') No reports for 2018
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear Pole up. Toilet open. 6/6/18
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') No reports for 2018
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') No reports for 2018
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') No reports for 2018
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 90

Bear barrels in. Toilets are open. 2 sites melted out.

6/23/18
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
No reports for 2018
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120')0 100 Bring a bear canister. Toilet is under snow. Bring blue bags. 6/21/18
James Camp #3/1 (4620') No reports for 2018
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') Closed for the season due to hazard trees toilet is open. 6/3/18
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Bear Pole Up. 6/5/18
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear Pole Up. Toilet open. 6/14/18
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 100 Bring bear canister and blue bags. 6/10/18
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 100 Bring bear canister. Toilet under snow. 6/3/18
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 85 Bring bear canister. Site 1 and 2 are melted out enough for 1 tent each. Group site snow free. 1 bear pole is up. 6/21/18
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 70 One group site and 2 individual sites are mostly snow free. 6/20/18
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 100 2-4 feet of snow, toilet is melted out. Site 2 and the group site are partially melted out. Bring bear canister. 6/1/18
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') No reports for 2018
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 5 6/23/18
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 100 Bring bear canister and blue bags. 6/1/18
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Use bear box for food storage. Vault toilet is located between Loop A and Loop B. 6/12/18
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 90 Toilet still under snow. Bring bear canister. 6/11/18

Last updated: June 24, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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