The Wonderland Trail

HARD 100 reviews
#18 of 130 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.

Distance: 96.2 miles Elevation Gain: 25,341 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Magnificent views of Mt Rainier

hiking
14 days ago

Absolutely spectacular trek thru labor day weekend. Completed in 5 days started from Longmire and went clockwise. 3 separate bear encounters all within Spray Park; they were minding their own business. bugs weren't too bad either which was a pleasant surprise. Rained one day and spent a couple days hiking thru a marine fog layer. Other days were sunny and gorgeous!

hiking
22 days ago

Oh man. We used to live in WA but were merely visiting and decided to head to Rainier for a hike. It was September and yoga pants and a hoodie isn’t enough. I stupidly didn’t anticipate snow still being on the ground. We warmed up as we moved. Beautiful hike with quite a bit of foot traffic, well marked, and quite a bit of park personnel floating around to guide you.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful trail!! I attempted this loop in 5 days. Only able complete 53miles of this hike. Very difficult climbs and trail is not very well graded. Recommend 6 to 7 days to complete this hike.

backpacking
26 days ago

One of the best hikes I have done in a while. The hike is a challenge, but the views are rewarding! Went clockwise. Finished the trail in 7 days. Started at Longmire. Day 1 Klapatche, Day 2 Mowich Lake, Day 3 Carbon River, Day 4 Sunrise, Day 5 Indian Bar, Day 6 Maplecreek and Day 7 finished back at Longmire and enjoyed a cheeseburger w/fries. Little to no snow at Panhandle Gap during our trip (8/10/19 - 8/16/19)...lots of flowers, and wildlife. The bugs weren't bad--only at Maplecreek. Trekking Poles are highly recommended...your knees will thank you!

running
1 month ago

Ran it in just shy of 48 hours after taking a few hour long naps on the trail. Beautiful trail - everything above 5k ft is amazing. Lots of climbs, a bit overgrown in parts, footing is fairly technical. A gem of the northwest.

backpacking
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

1 month ago

Will add more later. Unreal hike this year!

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Hiked over 4 days and 3 nights starting and ending at longmire. Only complaint is that there is a lack of signs in some areas making it somewhat difficult to be sure you’re on the right course. Ton of snow between Summerland and Indian Bar. Micro spikes and trekking poles recommended at a minimum. I wish I had brought them. Overall though, beautiful, well kept trail.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Nice easy trail. Long though. Some elevation after foot bridge but view is spectacular at top.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
3 months ago

Hiked the western edge of this in 4 days/3nights (15.5 years ago) with my uncle and two of his friends. I had an amazing time on this trail although it was rainy and snowy the entire trip. Although it is difficult, the view is breathtaking and well worth it. I’d do it again but shoot for the entire trail if I find myself in that region again!

8 months ago

I’ve done it twice. Great trail.

hiking
11 months 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.

backpacking
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

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

running
Monday, September 03, 2018

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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Amazing trail

backpacking
Thursday, August 16, 2018

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!

backpacking
Tuesday, August 07, 2018

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.

hiking
Sunday, July 22, 2018

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.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

feet hurt

hiking
Thursday, June 14, 2018

It was cloudy but, still had the opportunity to enjoy its

hiking
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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.

backpacking
Thursday, September 14, 2017

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.

Friday, August 11, 2017

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.

Load More

Featured Trails