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 9:00 am and 4:30 pm at 360-569-6575.

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 8/24/17
Chenuis Fall 0 7/14/17
Green Lake 0 6/2/17
Ipsut Falls 0 Snow Free. There is a small rock hop due to river encroachment. 6/17/17
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap 1 8/17/17
Paul Peak Trail 0 Snow free. Down trees and bridges out. 5/10/17
Rain Forest Loop 0 5/13/17
Spray Park 0

Trail is snow free from Mowich Lake to the beginning of Spray Park.

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.

9/3/17
Seattle Park 0 Patchy snow below 6100 feet. 3 Large snowfields about 200-300 feet across. 9/3/17
Tolmie Peak 0 7/14/17

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
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 0 Snow free. 6/7/17
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 0 Upper Van Trump Park is blooming with flowers! 8/10 /17
Denman Falls Trail 0 6/17/17
Eagle Peak Trail 0 Blueberries and huckleberries are out! 8/25/2017
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) - Outside the park. No report.
Kautz Creek Trail 0 7/27/17
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 0 7/9/17
Mildred Point Trail 0 Blueberries and Huckleberries are out! 8/25/17
Mirror Lakes Trail 0 8/1017
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 0 7/15/17
North Puyallup River Trail 0 7/23/17
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 6/17/17
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 0 Flowers in the meadows before Mildred Point. Upper Van Trump Park is blooming with flowers! 7/31/17
Round Pass Trail 0 6/14/17
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 0 7/14/17
South Puyallup River Trail 0 There is a large washout about 1 mile from the Westside Road. Trail crew has etched out some stairs. 7/14/17
Trail of the Shadows 0 Snow-free 5/9/17
Twin Firs Trail 0 Snow-free 5/1/17
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. 6/18/17


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) 0 8/1017
Eastside Trail 0 8/1/17
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 05/26/17
Laughingwater Creek Trail 0 7/16/17
Pacific Crest Trail 0 The PCT from Chinook Pass to Government Meadow remains closed due to the Norse Peak Fire. 8/31/17
Shriner Peak Trail 0 Foliage is turning red. NO WATER. 8/19/17
Silver Falls Trail 0 05/26/17

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 Several trails may be under construction. Please ask the rangers at the Jackson Visitor Center for more information. 7/21/17
Alta Vista Trail 5 7/28/17
Dead Horse Creek Trail 1 8/1/17
Fourth Crossing Trail 0 7/28/17
Glacier Vista Trail 0 9/10/17
Golden Gate Trail 0 9/10/17
High Lakes Loop Trail 0 7/28/17
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 0 Flowers blooming. 7/31/17
Moraine Trail 0 Flowers are blooming 8/5/17
Nisqually Vista Trail

0

Flowers are blooming. 8/5/17
Paradise Glacier Trail 0 Lupine in bloom. 8/15/17
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 1 8/14/17
Pinnacle Peak Trail 0 8/10/17
Skyline Trail 1 Flowers are blooming on upper Skyline Trail meadows. 8/15/17
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 Flowers are past peak. 8/3/17
Stevens Creek Trail 0 7/14/17

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 Please be mindful of where you step while hiking on trails in subalpine area to prevent damage to fragile vegetation. Peak bloom at Sunrise! 7/23
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs(from Frozen Lake) 0 8/10/17
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 0 Flowers are plentiful at Glacier Overlook area. 7/21/17
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 0 7/21/17
Crystal Lakes Trail 0 Meadows are becoming colorful with many wild flowers. 7/14/17
Crystal Peak Trail 0 Blueberries and Huckleberries are out! 8/25/17
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 A section of trail is narrow, steep and pebly and may not be suitable for very young children. 7/12/17
Glacier Basin Trail 0 Prominent flowers include Penstemon, Yellow Monkey flower, and paintbrush. 7/12/17
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 0 Flowers are blooming. Flowers are spectacular at Berkeley Park! NO WATER between Berkeley Park and the west fork of the White River. 7/26/17
Huckleberry Creek Trail 0 Blueberries and Huckleberries are out! 8/25/17
Lake Eleanor Trail 0 7/7/17
Mt. Fremont Trail 0 7/5/17
Naches Peak Trail 0 7/24/17
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 0 Variety of blooming flowers in Berkeley Park and Grand Park area. NO WATER between Berkeley Park and the west fork of the White River. WEst fork of the White River BRIDGE OUT. Take log across the river. 7/27/17
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 0 7/31/17
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 0 Flowers are fantastic! 7/31/17
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH form Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 0 Blooming flowers are plentiful. 7/11/17
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 0 8/10/17
Palisades Lakes Trail 0 Flowers in bloom. Plenty of water. Lupine, Paintbrush, and Asters are in bloom with vibrant colors! 8/15/17
Silver Forest Trail 0 Flowers are blooming! 7/26/17
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 0 7/23/17
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 0 7/23/17
Sunrise Rim Trail 0 Flowers are blooming 7/14/17
Tipsoo Lake Trail 0 8/1/17

Wonderland Trail
All backcountry camping requires a permit.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary
Longmire to Indian Henry's 0 No water at Devil's Dream. Water 1 mile below Devil's Dream and 1/2 mile above Devil's Dream. 7/14/17
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 0 Water 1/4 mile south of South Puyallup River Camp. 7/12/17
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 0 No water at Klapatche Park. Fill up on water at St. Andrews Lake. Blueberries and Huckleberries are out! 9/10/17
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 0 7/14/17
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 0 Blueberries and Huckleberries are out! 8/25/17
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 0 South Mowich River crossing is OUT! Look up and downstream for a safe crossing, about 2 feet deep. 8/31/17
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 0 6/15/17
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 0 7/30/17
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 7/09/17
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 0 7/5/17
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 0 Flowers are blooming! 7/26/17
Sunrise to White River Campground 0 7/23/17
White River Campground to Summerland 0 7/25/17
Summerland to Indian Bar 10 Panhandle Gap is snow covered. When on snow, be mindful of streams undercutting the snow. 8/31/17
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 0 8/12/17
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

0

8/12/17
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 0 8/10/17
Narada Falls to Longmire 0 7/14/17

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)
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 6/10/17
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet Open. 6/30/17
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 6/9/17
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/7/17
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 Bear boxes up. Toilet open. 5/12/17
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 0 Bear boxes up. Toilet open 7/14/17
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 0 Toilets are snow free. Bear poles are up. 7/25/17
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 6/15/17


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') 0 Bear poles up. Toilet open. 1 site closed due to hazard trees. NO WATER. 8/14/17
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 0 Bear pole is up and toilet is open. Mosquitos are out. 7/10/17
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. Flowers in bloom. 7/25/17
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/13/17
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 snow free. Bear Pole is up and toilet is open. 6/11/17
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/25/17
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 0 CLOSED because of hazard tree issues. Alternate camps at Cougar Rock Campground. 7/27/17
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear pole is up and toilet is open. 6/9/17
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet up. 7/28/17
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 bear poles are up. Toilet open. 6/14/17

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') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet is open. Flowers are blooming! 7/26/17
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet is open. 6/5/17
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/27/17
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/4/17
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/26/17
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 0

Bear bins out. Toilet open.

7/27/17
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
0 Toilets open. Bear poles up. 7/25/17
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120')0 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/25/17
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/25/17
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 0 Toilet open. Bear pole up. 7/14/17
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Toilet open. Bear pole up. 6/14/17
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/6/17
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 Bear Pole up. Toilet open. 7/31/17
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 0 Toilet is open. Bear pole is up. 7/27/17
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. Flowers are past peak, but there are still a lot blooming. 8/16/17
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 0 Toilet open. Bear boxes in. 7/14/17
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 0 Bear Pole is up. Toilet open. 7/10/17
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/26/17
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Bear Poles are up. Toilet open. 6/27/17
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 8/10/17
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear pole up. 6/23/17
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 7/26/17

Last updated: September 11, 2017

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Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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