Carbon Glacier Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews
#14 of 105 trails in

Carbon Glacier Trail is a 18.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Buckley, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and mountain biking and is best used from May until November.

18.9 miles
2112 feet
Out & Back



mountain biking





wild flowers


washed out

no dogs

From Tacoma, east on Highway 410 to Buckley. Turn south on Highway 165 and drive 14 miles to Carbon River Road. Turn left and drive 8 miles to Carbon River Entrance Station. Continue 5 miles to Ipsut Creek Campground at roads end.

2 months ago

2 months ago

4 months ago

5 months ago

5 months ago

6 months ago

7 months ago

The trail was great until the lower crossing. I had to do some fording across the river cause the crossing washed out. There was still some snow on the trail past the river crossing but I didn't have to post hole. Once I got to the view point it was a beautiful day with exceptional views of the Glacier. On the way back I didn't know the trail was out on the opposite side of the suspension bridge but it was don't go that way. Complete landslide has taken about a half mile of the trail out. But over all great hike!

8 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

Great Hike. Loved the suspension bridge. Road there was washed out so had to hike an extra 3 Miles or so. That was the only bummer.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Friday, August 05, 2016

Great hike today. We just hiked to green Lake trail head and made our way to the lake. Stopped by both waterfall sites and it was breathtaking. Trail is not difficult but not a beginner trail. Will definitely hike this again.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Great three day excursion. 5 mile gentle sloping wide trail to Ipsut Creek campground (very clean and comfortable with plenty of available campsites for a summer weekday, with spotless outhouses and convenient bear-proof boxes, however a few sites unavailable due to fallen trees). Next day hiked a bit more rugged trail to glacier and back. (3.5 miles each way). Had to figure out alternate way around washed out trail which involved crossing rocky riverbed following vague trail markers. Once back on the path everything was well marked. Landslide close to glacier viewing area made for a bit of a risky crossing and part of trail was doubling as a shallow creek at times, but the Glacier itself was spectacular with great views of a shiny white Mt. Rainier in the background. One more night at Ipsut Creek campground was followed by a gentle 5 mile return to the parking lot. This portion can be done with a bike as well, but we chose to hoof it. Overall great experience.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A good day hike that keeps mostly flat the whole time.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Great trail me and my girlfriend completed it in about 8 hrs with stops for Breakfast, Lunch and pictures. It was a hot day but with the water breezes made it bearable.

Monday, June 08, 2015

I decided to walk the entire thing instead of bike to Ipsut Campground. Can't say it was the smartest thing ive done in a while but i definitely had fun. We had a really mild winter so it allowed me to get hiking on the early side. I wanted to stop in to Chenuis Falls but the bridge was washed out so i pushed on. I passed Greenwater Lakes Trail which is a great side trail if you have the time. Beautiful little lake sits nestled in the mountains. I hit Ipsut campground and used the bathrooms they had which were pretty good considering and after rounding the corner (far end of Ipsut) I walked right into Ipsut falls. Pretty cool water fall. Its a short distance and worth the look. Grabbed a snack and headed up the hill and stayed left at the split (a right would take you up to Mowich). Hiking for a little while i found where all the washouts happened and "detours" had been placed. It just takes you the riverbed before catching the main trail up a ways on your right side.... Made it to the glacier and had lunch before walking back. It took me all day and wasn't extremely hard but the distance is what'll get ya if your feet aren't up to snuff. I did think it was pretty awesome that when i started the hike, the river rocks were tiny and as i got closer the glacier, the rocks were astronomically bigger. Made for an awesome picture. Happy hiking y'all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

took my girlfriend to the old washington mining co. mine the other day. was too late to go any farther than that as we were only prepared for an emergency overnight stay. will be going again to conquer the remainder of trails we missed out on.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I did this trail yesterday. Road my mountain bike in, had fun on some of the bumps (I ride downhill parks mostly). After starting the trail, stopped at ipsut falls for a snack, it's extremely slick back there right now. Continued on. Not sure when the detour went in for the trail, there is one. Just thought I'd mention it since no one else has. You end up crossing the river before the suspension bridge on a fun log bridge. Gradual hike up to the suspension bridge filled with streams, marmots, and chippies. Met quite a few wonderland trail goers yesterday. Got to the glacier hung out watching a marmot watch me. Pretty entertaining. I wouldn't call this trail difficult by any means, it's the distance that will get you. Highly recommend riding a bike in as it made the way out much faster and easier.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Was a great day for a hike. We arrived at the Carbon River ranger station at about 8:30, picked up a annual pass and drove to the end of the road (old Ranger Station). Was one other vehicle there. We road our bikes up to Ipsut Campground. Road/Trail is in decent shape. Only a couple places where we got off our bikes to walk through some of the areas with the larger rocks.
Took about an hour to get to Ipsut Campground. Locked our bikes up and began our hike to the glacier. Took a couple pics at Ipsut falls and back on the trail. Didn't see any big game, was a little disappointed as I wouldn't have minded seeing a bear. Oh well.
Arrived a the glacier a little after noon. Had some lunch in the sun and began our trip back down. Took a little bit of time to go across the suspension bridge, even though we didn't have to.
Bike ride back was fun (not much pedaling)
Overall it's an easy hike. If you have to walk the road to the campground I could see how that would be pretty boring. There are plenty of bike racks to lock up your bikes too.