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.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

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 0 9/9/18
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 0 7/17/18
Seattle Park 0 7/17/18
Tolmie Peak 0 7/11/18

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 Museum.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

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) 0 7/14/18
Denman Falls Trail 0 7/6/18
Eagle Peak Trail 0 7/26/18
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) - Outside the park. No report.
Kautz Creek Trail 0 7/24/18
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 0 Lots of avalanche lillies. 7/5/18
Mildred Point Trail 0 7/24/18
Mirror Lakes Trail 0 7/24/18
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) 0 7/14/18
Round Pass Trail 0 6/1/18
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 0 7/1/18
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 Longmire Museum or self register at the Park boundary on Hwy 123.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are currently being taken down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) 0 Creek crossing into camp is less than knee high. 7/30/18
Eastside Trail 0 7/21/18
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 5/28/18
Laughingwater Creek Trail 0 Use caution when crossing on damaged bridges. 7/21/18
Pacific Crest Trail 0 Snow free. Many small streams south of Anderson Lake have dried up. 7/20/18
Shriner Peak Trail 0 Bring water for entire hike as there is no water on this hike. 7/24/18
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 Museum.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary 7/17/18
Alta Vista Trail 0 7/17/18
Dead Horse Creek Trail 0 7/11/18
Fourth Crossing Trail 0 7/20/18
Glacier Vista Trail 0 7/20/18
Golden Gate Trail 0 9/9/18
High Lakes Loop Trail 0 9/9/18
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 0 9/9/18
Moraine Trail 0 9/9/18
Nisqually Vista Trail 0

7/14/18
Paradise Glacier Trail 0 9/918
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 20 7/11/18
Pinnacle Peak Trail 0 7/30/18
Skyline Trail 5 7/23/18
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 9/9/18
Stevens Creek Trail 0 6/25/18

Trails in the White River Area

All backcountry camping requires a permit. Self register at the Park boundary on Hwy 410 (White River/Sunrise entrance).
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake) 0 7/20/18
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 0 7/20/18
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 0 7/27/18
Crystal Lakes Trail 0 No water source until Lower Crystal Lake. 8/19/18
Crystal Peak Trail 0 Snow free. No water sources. 8/19/18
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 7/17/18
Glacier Basin Trail 0 Creeks have good flow. 8/11/18
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 0 Bugs are out! 7/1/18
Huckleberry Creek Trail 0 7/27/18
Lake Eleanor Trail 0 7/12/18
Mt. Fremont Trail 0 7/1/18
Naches Peak Trail 0 Snow free. Flowers are nice; so are the views! 7/20/18
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 0 West Fork of the White River bridge is IN! 8/31/18
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 0 Tamanos Creek is running dry and only pooled in some areas. Best water source is either the Owyhigh Lakes or at a spring running 0.5 miles north of Tamanos Camp on the Owyhigh Lakes trail. 8/23/18
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 0 7/24/18
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 0 Flowers are colorful. 7/20/18
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 0 Snow free. Many small streams south of Anderson Lake are dried up. 7/20/18
Palisades Lakes Trail 0 Creeks/streams are running but flow is lower. Upper Palisades Lake water level is getting low. 8/5/18
Silver Forest Trail 0 7/8/18
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 0 7/1/18
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 0 7/8/18
Sunrise Rim Trail 0 7/8/18
Tipsoo Lake Trail 0 Snow free. Flowers started to bloom. 7/20/18

Wonderland Trail

All backcountry camping requires a permit. Please obtain a permit at the Longmire Museum.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended. Hiking the Wonderland Trail is not recommended October-June due to potential flooding with river fords, snow-covered trails, etc.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 0 Snow free. The trail has been washed out across Kautz Creek. Minor navigation required at Kautz Creek. Flowers are out. Bugs are out. 7/27/18
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 0 Bugs are out! 7/20/18
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 0 Get water at St. Andrews Lake. No water at Klapatche. 8/19/18
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 0 No water between Klapatche and North Puyallup River. 8/19/18
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 0 No water between North Puyallup River Camp and Golen Lakes. 8/19/18
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 0 South Mowich River Bridge is IN as of last report on 8/24. There is no water between South Mowich River and Golden Lakes. 8/19/18
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 0 8/24/18
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 0 7/1/18
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 0 7/8/18
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 0 Bridge over Winthrop in IN; high and dry. 8/21/18
Sunrise to White River Campground 0 7/5/18
White River Campground to Summerland 0 7/2/18
Summerland to Indian Bar 3 8/31/18
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 0 Patchy snow from Indian Bar to the 5930. No water between Indian Bar and Nickel Creek. 7/14/18
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

0

7/26/18
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 0 7/21/18
Narada Falls to Longmire 0 7/1/18

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.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are currently being taken down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

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 DOWN. 10/8/18
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear Poles DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 0 Bear Box in. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 0 Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 10/8/18

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.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

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 DOWN. Toilet open. No water at camp. Get water 1 mile south or 1/4 mile north. 10/8/18
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 0 Bear poles DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 Bear pole is DOWN. 10/8/18
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Bear pole is DOWN. 10/8/18
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear Poles DOWN 10/8/18
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') CLOSED CLOSED DUE TO HAZARD TREES 10/8/18
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 10/8/18
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 Bear Poles DOWN. . 10/8/18

Eastside Backcountry Camps

All backcountry camps require a permit. Please self register at the Park boundary on Hwy 123.
Note 10/8/18: All bear poles are down for the season. Please be prepared to store food properly when spending the night in the backcountry. Bear canisters are highly recommended.

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 DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. Toilet open. 10/8/18
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet open. Hornet's nest near bear pole. 10/8/18
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 No flowing water. Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 0 Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 0

Bear barrels NOT in.

10/8/18
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
0 Bear poles DOWN. 10/8/18
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') 0 Bear poles DOWN. 10/8/18
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') CLOSED Closed for the season due to hazard trees toilet is open. 10/8/18
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 0 Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 0 Bear poles DOWN. 10/8/18
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 0 10/8/18
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 0 Bear pole DOWN. Please bring a bear canister.Tamanos Creek is running dry and only pooled in some areas. Best water source is either the Owyhigh Lakes or at a spring running 0.5 mile north of Tamanos Camp on the Owyhigh Lakes Trail. 10/8/18
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 0 Bear pole DOWN. 10/8/18
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 10/8/18
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Use bear box for food storage. 10/8/18
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 0 Bear Pole DOWN. 10/8/18

Last updated: October 8, 2018

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Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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