Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
25,000.00 ft (7,620.00 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
90.00 mi (144.84 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Generally considered one of the premier backpacking trips in the US, the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park lives up to the hype. There are endless views of the most glaciated mountain in the lower 48, wildflower meadows, waterfalls, and endless challenges. The trail is no joke, being 90 miles with 25,000 feet of climbing. Many people take 10-14 days to complete the entire trail and if that's what it takes, it's worth taking the time to do it. For many these 90 miles will be the hardest they've ever done, but also the most rewarding. You'll want to prepare well in advance because of the permit lottery. The permits can be in high demand, so don't get too excited about the trip before you get approved. You can also get walk-in permits within 24 hours of your desired start, but are not necessarily guarenteed. 

You can get incredible weather in the summer, withgot sweeping mountain views at the top of almost every climb. Expect to see rain, regardless of when in the year you're there.. Even in mid summer, there can still quite a bit of trekking across snow. 

Wildlife and wildflowers were both abundant on the trail. Marmots, mountain goats and black bears are seen frequently on the trail. Summerland and Spray Park are both havens for wildflowers, but you'll spot them in quite a few other spots as well. Spray Park is an alternate of the Wonderland trail; it has similar mileage but goes higher on the mountain than the standard trail. The Spray Park altenate is high recommended if you can handle a little extra climbing (and snow), the views from the top make the additional distance well worth it. 

One of the best parts of this trail is that water is everywhere, which helps you cut back on the amount of weight you have to carry in water. Their is less water on the east side, from near Indian Bar to Nickel Creek in particular. But that stretch is only five to six miles, everywhere else you'll encounter a water source at least every 4 miles, if not more often. Indian Bar is one of the top camp sites and  highly recommend if you're able to reserve this spot. 

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round

No

Open from

July 01 to October 30

Pros

Incredible views of Mount Rainier, surrounding mountains, and waterfalls. Wildlife. Wildflowers. Water everywhere. Bridges over rivers. Very few people on west and north sides.

Cons

Snow in late July. Fairly crowded on east and south sides.

Trailhead Elevation

2,725.00 ft (830.58 m)

Highest point

6,750.00 ft (2,057.40 m)

Features

Glacier
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Near lake or river
Shelters
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Vault toilet

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

Yes

Permit self-issue on site

No

Location

Comments

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