Tag: Mount Rainier

Day 6: Northside Figure 8, Mt. Rainier

DSC00741

Mystic Lake to Sunrise Trailhead, ~10 miles

We are hiking out to our car today. It is a Saturday, and we have 10+ miles to go until we get back to Sunrise. Then we need to find a place to stay on a busy, summer weekend night. Given all that, we decide to get up at 5 and hit the trail as early as possible. We are very efficient in breaking camp, and,¬†as we are brushing our teeth, we even get the bonus of seeing a doe with her small fawn walk right across our front porch meadow (the exact spot where we saw Mama Bear with her two cubs in 2014!)‚ÄĒsometimes it really pays to get up early! (more…)

Day 5: Northside Figure 8, Mount Rainier

P1150596

Eagles Roost>Spray Park>Mystic Lake, ~11 miles

We have a longish day with the promise of non-stop beautiful scenery, and we want to make sure we have plenty of time to enjoy it all without feeling rushed, so it’s a super early start for us today. We wake up at 5 and are on the trail by 6:30. Even though we are eager to get to Spray Park, we make a quick detour to see Spray Falls, one of Rainier’s most impressive (and aptly-named) waterfalls. Just a quick photo and we are off! (more…)

Day 4: Northside Figure 8, Mount Rainier

P1150488

Ipsut Creek to Eagles Roost, 7.4 miles

We break camp pretty efficiently this morning, even though we are moving at a leisurely pace, and we are on the trail by 8:30.¬†Right out of the gate, we have a huge uphill climb with 3200 feet of elevation gain over just 3.5 miles. We didn’t encounter gradients that steep on the JMT, so we are really hoping that being about 5000 feet lower in elevation will work to our benefit here. (more…)

Day 3: Northside Figure 8, Mount Rainier

DSC00363

James Creek to Ipsut Creek Walk-in Campground, ~10 miles

It is chilly overnight, and we have a hard time convincing ourselves to leave the warmth of our sleeping bags in the morning. By the time we finally crawl out of the tent, it is nearly 7 am, and we enjoy a leisurely morning around camp, drinking our coffee and tea and eating our breakfast all from the comfort of our camp chairs. We are not sure if it rained more overnight or not, but the tent is still really wet. Nobody likes packing up a wet tent, especially Matt. He straps the fly to the outside of the pack just before we head off. On a brighter note, there are blue skies and the hope of much better weather to send us on our way. (more…)

Day 2: Northside Figure 8, Mount Rainier

P1150210

Berkeley Camp to James Camp, 9.0 miles

We both sleep heavy, and I totally forget where I am or why the alarm is going off when it rudely attempts to wake me up. Matt must be feeling the same way because he tags the snooze button on his phone several times before we finally decide it’s for the best to get moving. Our neighbors are up already and busy packing by the time we finally emerge from the tent. (more…)

Backpacking Mount Rainier’s Northside Figure 8

Northside Figure 8_Title

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know it’s no big secret that we are huge fans of Mount Rainier National Park. This gem of the Pacific Northwest captured our hearts back in 2014 when we backpacked the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around the entire mountain. We loved our experience in Mount Rainier so much we even wrote a book about it! So, when we drove out to California to hike the John Muir Trail last summer, we couldn’t leave the West coast without making our way up to Washington state to get a little fix of “The Mountain.” (more…)

The Wonderland Diaries: Exploring the Enchanting East Side

The Enchanting East Side The east side of Mount Rainier was the final four-day segment of our Wonderland adventure, and, in many ways, it felt like we had saved the best for last. Beginning on the south side of the park, we admired many beautiful trail-side waterfalls in the forested lower elevations before climbing back into the higher elevations of the east where a veritable alpine paradise awaited us. Spending our last two nights on the trail at Indian Bar and Summerland, two of the most beautiful camps in the park (if not the entire country), was a fitting¬†end to the amazing experience of completing the Wonderland Trail. By the time we were through exploring Rainier’s¬†enchanting east side, we wished we could turn around and do it all over again! (more…)

A Guide to Backpacking the Wonderland Trail

Backpacking the Wonderland Trail_2

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
which face of Mount Rainier
is the most fabulous of all?

If you really want to know the answer to this question, of course, you’ll have to discover it¬†for yourself. And there’s no better way to do that than by backpacking¬†Washington’s iconic Wonderland Trail.¬†This 93-mile loop circumnavigates¬†the entire mountain, giving you a non-stop parade of¬†jaw-dropping alpine scenery, all with the mighty 14,410 foot glaciated peak of Mount Rainier as¬†the¬†backdrop. What more could you ask for? (more…)