The Wonderland Trail

HARD 30 reviews
#11 of 110 trails in

The Wonderland Trail is a 96.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Longmire, Washington that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

96.2 miles
25341 feet




nature trips

trail running







wild flowers


no dogs

By Car Southwest - Year round access to the park is via SR 706 to the Nisqually Entrance in the southwest corner of the park. The road from the entrance to Longmire remains open throughout winter except during extreme weather. The road from Longmire to Paradise closes nightly from November 1 through winter. It reopens the following morning dependent upon snow removal. Even though roads will be open, some facilities may not be available. Northwest - Carbon River in the northwest is also open year round via SR 165 through Wilkeson, but vehicle access is permitted only to the ranger station. Beyond this point the Carbon River Road is open to pedestrians and bicyclists. Another access point in the northwest is Mowich Lake. Due to heavy snowfall it is only open in the summer and closes mid-October or with the first snowfall. Southeast - Spring through fall road closures depend on snowfall and its removal from the roadways. Ohanapecosh on SR 123 is generally open via Hwy 12 from Yakima or Packwood from late May to early November. Access to other areas of the park from Ohanapecosh may be closed during the early and later seasons so please check the road status while making your plans. Northeast - Sunrise, White River and southbound SR 123 are accessed via SR 410 from Enumclaw. The road to Sunrise is usually open by July 1st through early September, as is the visitor center and other facilities. The road to Sunrise closes at the junction with White River Campground every night beginning in late September. It reopens each morning as conditions permit. The entire road from the junction with SR 410 to Sunrise and White River is closed for winter on October 14 or earlier with the first heavy snowfall.

2 months ago

What a great trail, started at Sunrise trailhead, cool gray fox in the trail?, the weather change on the way up skyscraper it started with light hail at first then on to snow. By the time we got to the first camp we were in a blizzard so we set up camp for the night to dry out. Next morning the weather did not improve so we hiked back to sunrise , will return in the summer for this one. got lots a great pics.

5 months ago

Hiked Wonderland with my friend in five and half days this summer. Beautiful flowers and views. Little in the way of flats but plenty of big climbs and descents. Major trailheads were a bummer due to the crowds but most of the trail was left to thru hikers. A real gem.

6 months ago

Beautiful trail one of my favorites. Was only able to spend a four days trekking but it was something else... Hiked in early July and had no idea about how much snow there was going to be from South Puyallup to Klapatche. We found out the hard way. We were forced to climb massive snow banks, literally risking our lives but we conquered it... Also woke up to a friendly black bear at Klapatche drinking out of the lake. Unfortunately as we tried to take a picture we scared him off. Beautiful trail and I will be back, hopefully to hike it though.

7 months ago

11 months ago

I found the bug net that goes on your head and the rain fly for the backpack great investments. Great hike even with a bridge out and whether that was pretty cloudy.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

My home away from home

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Amazing, challenging, and a lifetime experience! Buy a good guidebook and get on the trail!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Did 40 miles last August 2015. Had a blast!! Stayed at White river campground. Amazing trail ! Met a lot of people that do this trail every summer.

The views are fantastic!!!

Friday, July 03, 2015

93 miles up, down and everywhere on Mount Rainier. Words cannot describe it correctly. I will tell you this though,bring duct tape and whatever you do, bring small Tabasco packets for the freeze dried food in a bag....

Thursday, June 05, 2014

did this with my bro last summer 2013 it was awesome. 7-8 days wasn't long enough super challenging and super rewarding. we went counter clockwise

Monday, April 14, 2014

I enjoyed this trip. Most folk get a reservation by lottery in the spring and walk this one clockwise. I woke up one fine August day in 2012 and said, "self, you're going to hike the Wonderland!" I got a permit at Longmire, dropped off my cache, went to Sunrise and began hiking counterclockwise. I met a couple hundred people going clockwise Some people do this a section at a time. Others do the whole thing in an incredible range, of four to twelve days.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Did 11 miles and what an amazing trail. Well worth the drive from Seattle. Get there early if you want parking!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Did 12 miles of this trail today, we started at Mowich Lake and made our way down the Ipsut pass pass. Very pretty hike lots of picture spots. starting from Mowich lake you go down first so make sure you dont go so far as to where you dont have the energy to make the climb back out to where you came from.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Did the trail back in September 2009. To this day, it's still my favorite backpacking trip. :) We had an indian summer that year, so it wasn't too hot, nor too cold. The mosquitoes were gone and the autumn colors were emerging. Overall, it was the most memorable eight days I had that summer. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My husband and I did our first section of Wonderland Trail this past Sunday. The unusual warm wheather was great for the 7.4 mile day trip between Longmire to Paradise Camp site (there and back). We started a little late but was still able to make it way before sundown. The sites, the streams, waterfalls, river crossing were amazing! Totally different from the trails on the eastcoast. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amazing views and wildlife. Lots of elevation gain and loss, so it's a tough one, but so worth it if you get good weather! In areas of dayhikers the trail can get kind of busy, but get into the backwoods and there are less people. I recommend early September for the hike because there are less crowds and bugs. Weather can be sketchy ANY time of the summer or fall. Permits are required but can be reserved if you get your application in early (check in March) - every campsite area needs to be specifically reserved so know where you want to spend your nights and when!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wonderland Trail the first 4 days

Day 1: Check in and get the permit for the trip. One last breakfast at the NP Inn and hit the trail. We were early so we had an earlier than expected start but we were only going 3.5 miles so it was a slow and easy day to the first camp at Paradise River. We stopped and took a little walk up a side trail to Narada Falls, which is right along the highway but it was early yet so just a few tourists. Lazed around at camp getting mobbed by black flies working in shifts. 10 minutes of biting and then a break before they came back. All camps have a toilet to keep all waste in one place and this one was just a seat on a platform in the woods. No doors, no walls, no nothing except lots of trees.

Day 2: About 9.6 miles to Nickel Creek camp. We took a 1/4 detour along the road (WT goes around on the north about a mile) past Reflection Lakes on the hope that the clouds would lift and we'd get a nice image of Rainier but no luck. On down the trail. And down. And down. And down. Along some really rough trail for the first part, and then new construction that really sucked. The trail from Reflection Lakes to Box Canyon parallels the road and probably shouldn't be part of the WT. Once past Boxwood Canyon and the tourons, the trail cuts away from the road for the first time and heads off into the wilderness. The camp was nice and we were right on the creek with no bug problem.

Day 3: This was supposed to be to Panhandle Gap cross-country zone but we extended another 1.5 miles to Summerland Camp and poached a site so it turned into a 10.6 mile day. This was pretty much an all uphill with about 1500 in the first 2 miles and then what showed on the map (and I really learned to hate that map because it was not very accurate) as a gradual uphill for the rest of the way. Wrong. A gradual uphill for a ways and then a lot of steep steps to a small summit. Then kind of easy, then a lot more steps up. We finally reach the top of all this and find that we now have to go waaaaaayyyyyy down to Indian Bar but we were standing at almost the elevation were supposed to get to across the valley. So we go down and stop at Indian Bar camp for lunch, with an incredible view up the valley of several glaciers and lots of waterfalls. We load up with water because everyone is telling us theres no water at the top of the pass and take off. The first half-mile is a nice walk across the valley floor and then it starts up. mile of steep stairs and switchbacks and then "The 1000 Steps". This is 1 mile of straight up a ridgeline with no switchbacks, gaining about 1500. Imagine a mile of stadium stairs and youll get the idea. Once at the top of this, another mile of traverse to the gap. Great views again but we decided not to stay there because it was so exposed and so we took off thru a rock slide and did the extra 1.5 miles into Summerland. This place had some of the best views of Rainier both morning and night. A big marmot sat above our camp and kept watch over all the chipmunks running thru camp.

Day 4: I left about daybreak to make sure we didnt miss our meet-up with Kris and Drew while the others slacked off and stayed in bags at least another 20 minutes. A nice easy 4-mile trail to the road and another 2.5 along the road into White River campground. It took me a little less than 3 hours to get there so I had lots of time. The sun was coming up over the trees so I stripped to shorts, took off my boots and read and munched for a little while before dozing off. A few campers stopped to talk (carefully standing downwind) and were amazed that I was walking around the mountain. Kris showed up about an hour or so after I did so I tossed my pack in and we went back down the road to save the others some walking and they got there after another 30-40 minutes. Kris had fresh fruits and veggies for us, along with some bagel sandwiches and miscellaneous other things. Poppycock immediately proposed to her, forgetting he was already married. Drew showed up about an hour later and we headed to Sunrise for re-supply and snackbar food. We took it easy that afternoon getting into camp a little over a mile in, set up camp and then came back out for one last snackbar meal before the last 5 days.

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5 months ago

trail running
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