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. 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.

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.

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 River & Mowich Area Trails Map

Carbon Glacier Trail 0 Lower Carbon bridge is in.
07/05/2021
Chenuis Fall 0 Bridge is OUT. 07/17/2021
Green Lake 0 Snow-free. 06/05/2021
Ipsut Falls 0 Snow-free 05/29/2021
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap 0 Lower Carbon River bridge is IN. 07/02/2021
Paul Peak Trail 0 07/02/2021
Rain Forest Loop 0 Snow-Free. Bridge damaged and the loop cannot be completed; will be an in-and-out hike. 05/29/2021
Spray Park 12 Some navigation required. Lots of paintbrush. Avalanche lilies are on their way out and lupine is on its way in. 07/24/2021
Seattle Park 20 Some navigation required. 07/08/2021
Tolmie Peak 5 Mowich Lake is completely snow free. WT trail to Ipsut Pass is snow free with small patches. 2 ft of snow is still on trail around Eunice Lake, but above on the switchbacks towards Tolmie Lookout is snow free. 07/02/2021


Trails in the Longmire Area

The main road to Longmire is OPEN year round.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Longmire Area Trails Map
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 0 Bridge is IN. 07/14/2021
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 0 Upper bridge just below Comet Falls is OUT. Crossing is not advised. 07/14/2021
Denman Falls Trail 0 06/20/2021
Eagle Peak Trail 0 7 fallen trees acros the trail. Sizes ranging from 8 inches to 2 ft in diameter. All trees are easy to go over. 07/17/2021
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) 0 Not inside Mount Rainier National Park. Forest Service Road CLOSED. 07/14/2021
Kautz Creek Trail 0 A mix of different wildflower season stages from avalanche lilies to beargrass and paintbrush. 07/24/2021
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 0 07/14/2021
Mildred Point Trail 0 Lots of avalanche lilies. 07/24/2021
Mirror Lakes Trail 5 07/14/2021
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 0 Great, easy spot to see some flowers including avalanche lilies and jeffrey's shooting star. 07/24/2021
North Puyallup River Trail 0 Several down trees. 06/29/2021
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 Mosquitoes are out!!! 06/26/2021
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 0 11 trees down across trail between WT junction and Mildred Point. Largest Diameter was 18". 07/14/2021
Round Pass Trail 0 06/06/2021
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 0 07/14/2021
South Puyallup River Trail 0 06/06/2021
Trail of the Shadows 0 06/29/2021
Twin Firs Trail 0 05/29/2021
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. 05/29/2021


Trails in the Ohanapecosh Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Ohanapecosh Area Trails Map
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) 0 07/08/2021
Eastside Trail 0

Lots of flowers.

07/20/2021
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 Snow Free. 05/29/2021
Laughingwater Creek Trail 3 The last 0.25 miles to Three Lakes is patchy snow then near continuous snow cover and some navigation skills required. 07/042021
Pacific Crest Trail 5 Outside of Mount Rainier National Park. 07/14/2021
Shriner Peak Trail 0 Water still flowing about 0.25 miles below the peak. Water will most likely be dry in a couple weeks. 07/14/2021
Silver Falls Trail 0 Snow-Free. 05/29/2021

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 Paradise Area Trails Map Paradise still has 1+ weeks until peak wildflower boom. 07/24/2021
Alta Vista Trail 5 07/09/2021
Dead Horse Creek Trail 30 07/08/2021
Fourth Crossing Trail 30 07/08/2021
Glacier Vista Trail 30 07/08/2021
Golden Gate Trail 50 steep snow slopes are present on the upper switchback sectionsHazardous snow-bridges over creeks. 07/07/2021
High Lakes Loop Trail 30 Some navigation skills required. 07/09/2021
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 30 07/08/2021
Moraine Trail 30 07/07/2021
Nisqually Vista Trail 5 Avalanche lilies are in peak season. 07/24/2021
Paradise Glacier Trail 70 07/07/2021
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 100 Winter travel skills required including expert navigation skills and ice-axe self-arrest skills. Hazardous snow-bridges over creeks. 07/04/2021
Pinnacle Peak Trail 0 Lots of lupine and heather. A little bit of many other flowers starting to bloom including sitka valerian, arnica, and lousewort. 07/24/2021
Skyline Trail 10 Has a mix of early and mid-season flowers. Avalanche lilies, pasqueflower seedhead, sitka valerian, and lousewort. Lupine in bloom on Golden Gate. 7/24/2021
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 07/14/2021
Stevens Creek Trail 0 06/01/2021

Trails in the White River Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Sunrise Area Trails Map Sunrise in peak bloom for wildflowers. 07/24/2021
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs (from Frozen Lake) 3 Steep snow covered slope. Sturdy boots and self arrest tool recommended. 07/07/2021
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 1
Steep snow covered slope. Sturdy boots and self arrest tool recommended.
07/07/2021
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 0
07/20/2021
Crystal Lakes Trail 0
Western Columbine, Beardtongue, Beargrass, Coralroot (Pacific and Spotted), Paintbrush (Mountain and Red), Lupine (Broadleaf and Arctic), Pasqueflower... just to name a few!
06/28/2021
Crystal Peak Trail 0 Western Columbine, Beardtongue, Beargrass, Coralroot (Pacific and Spotted), Paintbrush (Mountain and Red), Lupine (Broadleaf and Arctic), Pasqueflower... just to name a few! 06/28/2021
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 07/08/2021
Glacier Basin Trail 0 07/23/2021
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 0 07/13/2021
Huckleberry Creek Trail 1 Snow remains on north side of Sourdough Ridge and involves one steep snow traverse. A large avalanche debris field still on snow covers trail just south of Forest Lake. Trail north of Forest Lake is snow free. A 40-ft wide stream running across the trail in USFS side and requires fording. Trail 0.25 miles south of Forest Lake has about 400ft of downed trees and debris due to a winter avalanche. 07/13/2021
Lake Eleanor Trail 0 Plenty of spreading phlox, indian paintbrush, and lupine popping out in Grand Park. 07/07/2021
Mt. Fremont Trail 0
Flowers in bloom.
07/07/2021
Naches Peak Trail 0 A few patches of snow. Flowers blooming. 07/08/2021
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 0 07/07/2021
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 0 Several trees down. Owyhigh Lakes is a great hike to see meadows in different stages of wildflower blooms. Columbine and tiger lilies on trail, as well as peak bloom near the lakes filled with lupine, paintbrush, aster, and pasqueflowers. 07/24/2021
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 40 Continuous snow starting at 4500 ft. Some sections of trail are melted out but navigation is required. 06/19/2021
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 55 First 0.5mile from Chinook Pass is 100% snow; then nearly a mile stretch is almost snow free and flowers are in early blooming stage.After the trail turns north to Sheep Lake, the trail is mostly under snow; navigation required.The south-facing stretch to Sourdough Gap is snow free. 06/20/2021
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 0 07/14/2021
Palisades Lakes Trail 0
FLOWERS are popping (Sitka valerian, arnica, magenta paintbrush, american bistort, phlox, elephant head, lousewort, cinquefoil, tiger lily, crimson columbine) Bear around Sunrise Lake.
07/21/2021
Silver Forest Trail 10 07/02/2021
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 1 07/07/2021
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 5 07/07/2021
Sunrise Rim Trail 5 07/07/2021
Tipsoo Lake Trail 0 Heather and lupine in bloom. 07/24/2021

Wonderland Trail

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Mosquitoes are out!
Use caution when hiking on step snow; even a small patch can be icy and slippery between late evening and early morning.
Extra caution should be used when crossing rivers in the time of high water during warm weather days. Refer to Crossing Streams Safely
07/24/2021
Longmire to Indian Henry's 0 At Kautz Creek follow cairns. Pyramid Creek Bridge is IN. 07/24/2021
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 5 07/13/2021
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 5 07/13/2021
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 5 07/13/2021
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 0 07/03/2021
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 0 South Mowich River bridge is OUT! Take your time finding the best place to cross. 07/21/2021
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 0 07/05/2021
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 0
07/02/2021
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 The Lower Carbon Bridge is IN. 07/08/2021
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 0 Dick creek has no foot log, the ford is up to 1' deep in hot weather. Expect this to get deeper with warmer weather. 07/14/2021
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 5 Winthrop bridge is IN. some snow between Skyscraper Pass and Sunrise. 07/07/2021
Sunrise to White River Campground 0
07/05/2021
White River Campground to Summerland 0 White River bridge is IN. 07/20/2021
Summerland to Indian Bar 15 Be cautious of thin snow bridges. Snow bridges that most people are using are questionable. Better to go across the river or up river to more stout snow bridges. Trail is 30% snow-covered from upper Fryingpan crossing to Panhandle Gap. North side of Panhandle Gap has 2- 20" snow patches, one steeper with some exposure. Good boot pack through this section. 07/14/2021
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 5 Indian Bar to Cowlitz Divide Trail is 5% snow covered. Bridge over Waukaupauhauken Falls is clear of snow and safely crossable. 07/14/2021
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

30

Snow-free to Martha Falls. A few downed trees. CAUTION: SLIDE BETWEEN SYLVIA AND MARTHA FALLS. EXTREMELY LOOSE SOIL ON STEEP SLOPE. TRAIL CREW HAS ETCHED OUT A TRAIL IN THIS LOCATION. A REROUTE IS POSSIBLE BY WALKING ALONG THE STEVENS CANYON ROAD.
Red Columbines, Bleeding Heart, Salmonberry and Thimbleberry are in full bloom
06/25/2021
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 20 07/07/2021
Narada Falls to Longmire 10 Some large snow patches. Nisqually bridge is in. 07/14/2021


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. 06/12/2021
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/13/2021
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') 0 Bear Pole Up. Toilet open. 06/12/2021
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 07/08/2021
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 05/29/2021
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 0 Bear boxes in. Toilet open. 07/08/2021
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 20 Bear poles UP. Toilet open. 06/29/2021
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 06/12/2021


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') 0 Bear poles UP. Toilet open. Mosquitoes are out! 07/24/2021
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 0 Bear poles UP. Toilet open. 07/03/2021
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. Mosquitoes are out! 07/20/2021
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 06/28/2021
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 07/08/2021
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 06/28/2021
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet OPEN. 07/01/2021
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet OPEN. Black flies are out. 07/24/2021
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/17/2021
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 06/06/2021

Eastside Backcountry Camps

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation)
Summary Diligently practice proper food storage; never leave food unattended including in a backpack or tent; never leave food in a tent at night. 10/17/2020
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/04/2021
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 06/12/2021
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/01/2021
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/04/2021
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/04/2021
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 0

Bear barrels in. Toilet open.

0704/2021
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
10 Bear PoleS UP. Toilets open. 06/29/2021
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') 95 Individaul bear pole is up. Individual sites are 90-100% snow covered. Toilets are open. Bridge over Waukaupauhauken Falls is clear of snow and safely crossable. 07/03/2021
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 10/17/2020
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/07/2021
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet OPEN. 06/19/2021
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear Pole Up. Toilet open. 06/25/2021
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet OPEN. 07/08/2021
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet OPEN. Site 1 melted out. 07/01/2021
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 0 Diligently practice proper food storage; never leave food unattended including in a backpack or tent; never leave food in a tent at night.
Both bear poles UP.
07/06/2021
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 0 Bear boxes in. Toilet open. 07/082021
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/03/2021
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 60 Bear pole DOWN. Toilet is open. Individual sites still snow covered. Mosquitoes are starting to come out. 07/04/2021
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet OPEN. 06/23/2021
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 50 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/03/2021
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear pole is UP. 06/25/2021
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/13/2021

Last updated: July 24, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

Contact Us