Explore Bucket List - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Bucket List Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Just completed yesterday. Started Monday from TL Lodge and went clockwise, as suggested. If I had do overs I would do CCW and end on easy, cruising trail rather than the sandpit climb back up to the lodge.
Water crossing were all easily done with dry feet except for the last one, White River, when done CW. I easily forded that one. Rock hopping possible, I'm sure, if you are willing to scout up and down the river a ways. I determined the ford the safest and fastest way and it felt refreshing on my worn feet.
Trail conditions are great. Water sources plentiful even with many dried out for the season. Completed in 2.5 days. 40's at night. Cool in the mornings but hot in the afternoons. Pack appropriately for 3 seasons and get out there and do it while the window is still open. From what I hear, this is atypical for this time of year. Glad I was able to sneak it in!

Just got back from another church hike. Hiked from whitewater falls to Oconee Park. Trails in perfect condition.

This trail is beautiful especially in the fall. I did the hike alone but i don’t recommend that. A few dangers to keep in mind: the fog can roll in quickly and you can lose visibility. I hiked it September 28- October 2 2018. I was 1 mile from the lodge and the fog rolled in and i lost the trail. Pretty much where the hiker that just died was found a week later. It was scary but i had a beacon in case of emergency. I ended up by palmer lift up on the glacier. It was very scary. I got lucky and the fog cleared for a second and i saw the palmer lift and then it disappeared again. I started to head that direction and back down hill when i got a brief glimpse of the lodge and then it also disappeared again. I was lucky i was in a ravine that went straight to the lodge. I was stuck up there for 6 hrs before i found my way back. I almost used my beacon but grateful i didn’t have to. I totally recommend the hike you just need to be prepared for anything. I plan to go back and see where i went wrong. I also am advocating for a sign to be added where that turn off is. Multiple hikers have gotten lost there. Good luck it was absolutely breathtaking and i feel like a badass fir completing the hike solo. Yeah me!!

hiking
10 days ago

Went solo on this trip the last week in September in 9 days/8 nights. One needs a permit and there is an easy system to sign up on-line either through a lottery system in March or there are walk-up intermarry possibilities if one has a flexible schedule. Also, routes can either be clock-wise or counter clock-wise in layout. The hike could be comfortably be done in 7 days/6 nights from a mileage perspective. I would rate this as 'hard' but not that 'difficult' in that there is +/- 25,000 ft. of elevation gain and loss for the whole hike, 2k-3K per day on average. It is hard as there is so much up and down. Hiking poles for me were a must. It is not difficult in that it is, during the summer months, a heavily traveled trek and the trails are generally well maintained and easy to follow forest paths. Each day you at going up and down at least one major 2K+ foot section between camps. With side-trips, the 93- 96 mile trek easily ends up over 100+ miles. I took the alternative 'Spray' trail in the northwest as this route is higher up, with closer views of the mountain. There are mountain goats, elk, dear and bear and, the ever present marmots. The weather cooperated, for the most part - 4 days of sunshine, 3 days of overcast, 1 day of rain and 1 day of snow (at 6,000 ft.). The temperature was in the 50s during the day which made for excellent hiking conditions, without overheating. There were no bugs and few people in the camp sites in late September. One is rewarded throughout with spectacular views of the mountain, hills, valleys and rivers as well as different scenery on each day as one heads through different sections and climate zones. In late September, the colors of the bushes change to fiery reds, oranges, yellows and purples - all providing a stark contrast to the bare mountain terrain they grow on. The Wonderland Trail takes one through barren outcrops, subalpine meadows, old growth forests, 'burned' out sections that are regenerating, talus fields and, of course, raging glacial river valleys which leave their silty/rocky deposits below. It is 'hard' because of the elevation gains and losses. All bridges were in place and markers in riverbeds were easy to spot as one navigated low lying sections. I enjoyed the campsites as they all have backcountry privies that are convenient and bear poles for your food/trash at night. In late September, there are few that you are sharing with. One of the pluses for this type of hike is that in each corner of the park, there are cache points to pre-stage food if you choose not to carry it all with you. Further, all campsites, save one, had stream, lake or other water sources near by so water for cooking and drinking was not a problem. Few trails of this length are as well laid out and maintained, with spectacular scenery, and this is the grand daddy of them all. Take the time - it is worth it.

Began at 7am and completed clockwise loop in 1 day. Precipitation most of the day and clouds finally cleared around mile 30 for some great views. Not much runoff so river crossing were relatively dry. No GPS signal for offline map, garmin watch or inreach tracker that day around Heather and Clark creek so study that area well to avoid losing the trail.

Well graded for the most part and very well maintained. Many miles above the treeline, offering amazing views on the top part of the mountain and its many glaciers. River fording can be tricky, but is a major highlight of the Trail.
Found much secludedness when we tackled the whole trail in early october. Got snowed on! Great experience.

backpacking
1 month ago

Did this as a 9-day through hike with my wife last month. Absolutely amazing! We liked it better than the Timberline Trail around Mt. Hood. So many amazing viewpoints of the mountain and the flowers were plentiful. Beautiful lakes and subalpine meadows. Our favorite area was the Ohanapecosh valley and Indian Bar. Klapatche, St. Andrew’s Lake, and Summerland were amazing too. Pack light and use the food cache areas to make this challenging hike more enjoyable.

Wonderful trip! Did this as a 4-day backpacking trip with my wife in August of 2017. Breathtaking views, wildflowers, historic shelters, and snow fields. This hike has a little bit of everything. If your itinerary allows, camp at Dollar Lake on the north side of the mountain. It’s a short climb from the main trail, but has excellent campsites, a beautiful view of the mountain, and a nice place for a swim or washing clothes. Water crossings vary significantly with temperature and rainfall. Sandy, Coe, and Elliott were the most challenging for us. It’s a fantastic and challenging hike.

just finished a 4 day run with my cousin. Awesome views, some nasty weather at times, but a really incredible experience

The trail here is beautiful and brutal. So many ups and downs and the terrain is crazy..roots, rocks, over growth in the south part of the trail. There honestly aren't any words to describe it.

Did this backpacking trip with my daughter a few years ago. We backpacked it late spring, which I recommend due to the lower heat and availability of water. I carried way too much water to make sure we wouldn’t run out and had a 60+ lb pack. Wasn’t necessary as late spring had all water sources running well.

We did learn to hate sand and I lost my favorite pair of Oakley XX ‘s, but it was a great trail. Loved coming down from Angel’s Landing in full pack toward the Grotto to get stares and whispers of, “He, how far is it to Angel’s Landing...” from those heading up.

So, keep it light. LOTS of water. Stop and enjoy the views!

trail running
1 month ago

Completed in 3 days (unsupported) with my siblings. Stunning 360 views of Mt. Rainier hiking through different climates. 30+ miles days in this terrain isn’t bad if you enjoy living the pain cave. If not, you may want to take a few more days. Mosquitoes were few and far between, ran into a few hornets nests. Black Bear were out, but wanted nothing to do with us. Wear good shoes.

Brilliant. Took about six days, lots of rain but still a wonderful experience.

Great hike!! Did this hike in 2 days.

Amazing trail

backpacking
2 months ago

Strenuous backpacking trip that was well worth the amazing scenery. Definitely pick as light as possible and consider caching food to save weight. I did the entire loop with about 60 pounds on my back which I really felt on the sharp inclines and declines. Bugs weren't too bad except for the miles around Devils Dream. Obtaining a walk-in permit was surprisingly easy if you're flexible in your plans. I did it in 9 days which seemed just right. Get out and check this off your bucket list!

I took the trail from Table Rock to Laurel Valley yesterday morning 8-3-18 during the rain. The Creeks and Falls along the trail were raging but awesome to see and hear. Crossing points were still safe but reccomend the upmost caution. The sky's cleared by the time I crested at Sassafras overlook. I made the section in 4:35. Looking forward to Hiking the trail all the way to OSP soon.

backpacking
2 months ago

Epic views and ever changing scenery. The Wonderland takes you through subalpine meadows, old growth forests, over talus fields and raging glacial rivers. Challenging elevation gains and losses, I think there might be 10 feet of flat path on the whole trail! Challenging terrain in places and smooth forest path in others. Snow crossings, sketchy washout sections. Always, ALWAYS check trail conditions report before heading out, especially to see if bridges are in and never underestimate the danger of the water crossings, never ford alone. Be prepared to change plans or bail out if you cannot cross safely. Campsites all have backcountry privy and bear poles. Cache points at Sunrise, Longmire and Mowich, and abundant water sources make it easy to travel light. Trail is well marked and traveled.

We did the first 30 miles from Oconee to Whitewater Falls October 2017 in 2.5 days. Pretty cruisy with some great camp sites. Didn't see anyone on our Thursday to Saturday walk. Went back to Table Rock SP May 3, 4, 5, 2018, and finished up the last 48 miles. Sassafras Mt. was closed due to the new tower construction. There was one worker dude up there in a truck hanging out with his girlfriend. We obeyed and took the detour but I wasn't pleased. We finished day 2 with Heartbreak Ridge and I agree with a previous poster on finishing the day with Heartbreaker and getting yourself one of the sweeeeeet campsites by the Toxaway because the next day you got about 16 pretty tough miles to the camp that the Girlscouts constructed close to the base of Whitewater Falls. Hats off to all the Eagle Scouts who did their community service projects on this trail; their everywhere. As for water... it's everywhere.

**Found**
found a sleeping bag on the northwestern side of the mountain, in a glacial valley. Packed it out. Describe it to me and I can mail it to you. send me a message on Instagram, @sam_joe_carl

Beautiful wilderness! Spent two nights and three days. My GPS showed the final milage to be more like 43.5

Make sure to bring some type of insect repellent but overall very beautiful and gracious. I did bring my dog and should’ve had dog booties for her because of certain terrain. Enjoy!

Unforgettable experience.

hiking
3 months ago

We lucked out and got a permit for the whole trail and did it in 10 days. Coming from flat Oklahoma this was still a little strenuous. Cool the first few days and snow still on the east side in early July but we had a few warm days to conquer it and thankfully boot tracks to show us the way. Otherwise make sure you have a map and altimeter to cross the snow.

feet hurt

Did this over 2 days (Timberline Lodge—>elk cove, elk cove—>Timberline lodge). Would absolutely recommend this trail, but not this pace— it’s worth it to enjoy 2 nights outside. Beautiful scenery.

Bring trekking poles for the river crossings— they weren’t terrible, but they were more significant than anything I’d ever done before, and they get worse in the afternoons, when there’s more snowmelt.

Overall, this is an excellent hike— can’t wait to go back!

This trail really needs to be reviewed in sections, preferably from Scott Lynch's book. Some parts are definitely moderate with long stretches of trail that is smooth, easy, and crazy beautiful. Other parts are steep switchbacks with big trees to crabwalk under or scrabble over.
A friend and I did 35 miles, starting at Oconee and ending just before Whitewater Falls. Outrageously beautiful - all the streams and creeks were running, and the Chattooga was raging. Waterfalls everywhere! Mushrooms of all colors, waterfalls of ferns, every moss and lichen, blooming rhododendrons, We were glad we had planned low miles so we could stop to explore and take pictures.
My caution would be that it was hot with very high humidity, and we almost couldn't drink enough water to stay hydrated.
We will be back to do more.

Did the loop on Jun 30 - July 2. The trail was awesome and was completed in 2.5 days. Start and end at the Timberline Lodge going clockwise. No parking permit needed but you need to park by the edge wall while leaving the main parking area to lodge guest. 1st day (18 miles) camp at McGee Creek; 2nd day (17 miles) camp at Heather Creek; 3rd day (6 miles) out to the car. Make sure to fill out wilderness permit at trailhead.

Just completed the trail. Amazing views of Mt Hood, and gorgeous scenery. So happy to have hiked it. Long first day (30 miles), and super windy just after Cloud Cap.

All river crossings were reasonable. Many had convenient logs across them, some had a few jumps between rocks, but never had to get my boots wet. Crossed White at 9am, so possibly was lower than it would have been in the afternoon.

Still some snow on sections, but nothing to worry about.

Did this in June 2011 in +40C. Most exhausting hike ive ever done solely because of the heat. Plan your days to hike out of the sun and heat; hiking early mornings, 2hr breaks in the shade near water if possible at noon, resume in the evening and hike later in the day. Not a lot water sources. Be familiar with symptoms of heat exhaustion and treat early. Otherwise a magnificent and and challenging hike.

Load More