Tag: Wonderland Trail

Day 5: Northside Figure 8, Mount Rainier

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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

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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

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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…)

Backpacking Mount Rainier’s Northside Figure 8

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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…)

Wonderland Trail News You Can Use!

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Hello all!¬†We know it has been a while since our last post, and we apologize for the long period of silence. It‚Äôs been a very busy school year for us, and we’ve had to put this here blog on the back burner for a while. We know that’s¬†a totally lame excuse,¬†but we have been diligently¬†working on some posts from our trip to Peru last summer. We promise to start publishing those posts soon, but, before we do, we have some very exciting news to share with anyone who is still out there. So here goes… (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…)

The Wonderland Diaries: The West Side Wander

The West Side Wander

The Wonderland Trail on Mount Rainier’s west side has a lot to offer the intrepid¬†backpackers who¬†venture here. This section of the trail is not easily accessed by road, ¬†so few¬†day hikers¬†reach¬†this quiet¬†corner of paradise. A couple of monster ascents through old growth forest will have¬†you huffing and puffing, and¬†the stunning¬†views of the mountain from¬†Klapatche Park and Emerald Ridge will take your breath away. St. Andrew’s Lake offers¬†a picture-perfect chance to cool off in ice-cold waters while a couple of dramatic river crossings are sure to get your adrenaline flowing. If you’re lucky, you might¬†catch a gorgeous sunset from above the tranquil Golden Lakes. Wildflowers abound as you stroll through Indian Henry’s old hunting grounds on your way to your next cache and a well-deserved hot meal at Longmire.
A wander down the west side is well worth your while! (more…)

The Wonderland Diaries: Navigating the North Side

Desolate Pass Tarn

We began our Wonderland adventure traveling counter-clockwise on the north side of Mount Rainier from White River Campground heading toward¬†South¬†Mowich River. Filled with sweeping vistas, enchanting¬†alpine meadows, photogenic lakes and a few hair-raising bear encounters to boot, this alluring¬†section of the trail was the perfect¬†introduction to the Wonderland‚ÄĒa magnificent visual feast from beginning to end.¬†It had us at hello… (more…)

A Guide to Backpacking the Wonderland Trail

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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…)