Wonderland Trail to Camp Summerland and Lake

MODERATE 251 reviews
#10 of 135 trails in

Wonderland Trail to Camp Summerland and Lake is a 10.1 mile out and back trail located near Paradise Inn, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October.

Distance: 10.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,595 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

snow

no dogs

Stop at the camp for an 8.2 mile roundtrip or continue on to the gorgeous lake, as shown on the map. You can also continue on to the Panhandle Gap for seasonal waterfalls and wildflowers.

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

This trail was so much fun! This was our first time in Washington. I really wanted to hike the Burroughs, but the road to sunrise trailhead was closed, so we did this one instead. The first part of the trail was cool, it winded through tall trees. Then it opened out into a large field of snow. There was quite a bit of snow, previous hikers had made a nice trail though. The toughest park was the switchbacks up a steep snowy mountain. But the views at the top was worth all the work tenfold. Actually the views throughout the trail were amazing. I would definitely rate this trail on the difficult side, especially in the snow. Wild recommend trail poles and spikes, but we managed to do it on hiking boots and a stick we found on the ground. Haha

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike on 10/6/19 weather was beautiful. We used microspikes for a short bit up to Summerland with our poles but gaiters not neccesary but if you’re including Panhandle then you definitely need microspikes, gaiters and poles. At the very top we were knee deep in snow. But was so worth it!

hiking
muddy
snow
2 months ago

pretty nice even In the early fall. Go for it, just wear extra layers.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing. Do go the extra 0.8 (following cairns) to the glacial lake.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail with beautiful views. We went past Summerland, past several waterfalls and turned around at Panhandle Gap, where we saw a herd of mountain goats. We saw a lot of pikas along the way as well. Highly recommended. Parking is limited , so arrive early.

hiking
2 months ago

Highly recommend that you go to the small glacier lake at the end of the trail (where the group camp site is), which probably is about 0.8 miles into the wonderland trail. If you do that, this is about 11.5 mile hike out and back. I really enjoyed it. There were tons of mushrooms which are amazing to look at (and you can pick them according to the Rainier mushroom picking guide).

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous yesterday. Rain held off, only a few people on the trail. Clocked in at 10miles, not 8 on the activity tracker but may have been off for steps. Very gradual incline, well marked/developed path, took our time and enjoyed the view all the way. A few streams along the way to fill water bottles if you have a purifier.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. Don’t forget to take a camera. Wild flowers, squirrels and small streams, just the best. I’d definitely do it again and would camp this time.

hiking
2 months ago

Really enjoyed our hike. Great views of Rainer and good mix of sun and shade today.

hiking
3 months ago

Spectacular.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my Favorite Trails in The Park very Spectacular Views it starts with very Dense Thick Forests with mushrooms on the floor and Trees then you pass by 3 Waterfalls And Cascades with Wildflowers And Meadows And Alpine Views Of Mount Rainier And The nearby Glaciers it’s Always sunny like Summerland.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

I went with some friends, and had a blast. It’s a beautiful hike with some breath taking views. The trail starts off in the forest, and has some beautiful waterfall overlooks before getting to the hardest part (for me) which was all the switchbacks up the side of the mountain before getting to the field. I recommend taking lots of water, and take breaks as needed. Once we got to the Summerland field, we saw lots of chipmunks, a hand full of pika, and a couple marmot. We decided to hike the extra mile or so down the trail to the pond and it was absolutely worth it. All in all, a well maintained trail, with beautiful views and plenty of wildlife. I definitely recommend this trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Great way to start off our honeymoon! We were married at Twin Firs Loop in Mt Rainier National Park. This was our first hike of our Washington honeymoon. It truly is the best way to experience so much of what Mt. Rainier and Washington state have to offer. We originally planned to camp out in the meadows, but we didn’t get the permit. We got glacier basin instead but we decided to day hike this instead. You go through multiple terrains. Mostly forest to start (like E.T. Land). Then you encounter a overlook to a fast river/small water fall. Cool photo area. Keep going and you will cross rivers over tree bridges, bushes of wild flowers, fields of flowers with a flowing river to your right and cliffs and tall evergreens to your left, cute staircases to climb up (cute but painful). Most incredible sights if it’s your first pnw hike. Finally coming to the hardest part, switchbacks all the way up the side of the mountain to get to the beautiful meadows and camp sites. This part will get you even if you are in good shape, but especially if you are not from somewhere used to living with some kind of elevation. The elevation really got to my husband, but water helps, so lots of water and take breaks!!! It’s only about 15-20 mins of pain, it really goes by fast. Great sized switchbacks make it easier. Was a cool and sunny day. Temps ranged from 70 to start to 55 to end, But never felt cold and sweat a lot. We started the hike late and night hiked part of the way back down, which was a lot of fun. We had headlamps of course. Highly recommend this hike.

hiking
3 months ago

hiked this on 8/30/19. got the last spot in the parking lot at 9am. light traffic as we only saw a handful of other groups of people. incline is moderate and really not bad at all. beautiful hike & the clouds dispersed as soon as we reached the campground to give us a good view of the mountain to make it all worth it. lots of small wildlife near the campground as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike. I highly recommend going to Panhandle gap, it's not much further and the scenery is amazing, with beautiful waterfalls and a small lake. We saw a herd of mountain goats at the gap and pikas in the talus along the way. The trail was in good shape with only one small patch of snow.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great day hike. Started early on a Saturday, at 8am the parking was full. My group and I were confused between this site and WTA- we did not do the panhandle gap and it was about 2000 elevation and a little over 8 miles round trip. Very beautiful on the way up, shaded most of the way. The last half mile was killer switchbacks but so worth it when you got to the top. Would do again but on a weekday.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Visited on Sunday 8/4. The first 3 miles is within the woods with shade, the last mile to the campground is exposed more under the sun. After that it’s best to go further to the Panhandle Gap; it’s totally worthy it. The view changes from mountain side view to exposed rock view with snow more. On the way, you will see an emerald green lake. When reaching to the gap, there will have panoramic view of mountain line and Mt Adams in the far distance. Total 12.2 miles.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike although no view of rainier as it was hidden in the clouds

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail- goes from deep woods to wildflowers to a large valley that looks like its out of a fairytale almost. Starts out moderate and gets steeper at the end. There is no glacial lake on this trail specifically- you'd have to hike more to get to that. Took about 4-5 hours round trip. Did it on a somewhat rainy/misty day and was still beautiful but the views of Rainier were a bit clouded.

hiking
4 months ago

Super hike to Summerland and then up over the snow to a mountain ridge line. Lots of flowers, snow melting, small lakes, lots of marmots and beautiful views. Do this on a weekday. this is a very very popular hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing! Most beautiful views and scenery. Wildflowers everywhere, beautiful creeks and marmots! Love this hike.

hiking
4 months ago

One of my top favorites. Not too difficult and it’s nearly all downhill on the way back. No bugs.

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked this yesterday and the wildflowers were wonderful. The elevation gain on this hike is loaded toward the end after getting above the treeline. It was well worth the effort. Beautiful forest, a river, flowers, and mountains. What's not to like?

hiking
4 months ago

I thought this was a great hike despite it being pretty foggy and not getting to see most of the major views! As other reviews mention, it was fairly gradual until the last .25 mile where the switchbacks got a bit steep. The trail opens up to a big meadow and I was really surprised to see a toilet and some sheltered spaces to eat and dry off (it was a bit misty the day we went). From the clearing you can keep hiking up and it’s a totally different landscape-you’re above the tree line so it’s very open, rocky and there was still a decent amount of snow. We kept going a bit probably adding an addition 2-3 miles round trip, but didn’t travel all the way. Including the roughly 45 minutes we stopped to eat lunch, the hike took us about 5 hours round trip. With the additions after the meadow our round trip distance was about 12 miles (according to our Fitbits). We didn’t have any issues with parking and the trail was fairly empty. We parked at 9:30am and the designated spots were full but right up the road there was tons of space to pull over and park on the shoulder.

hiking
5 months ago

Almost totally snow free to the camp.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

***Trail almost clear ro Summerland Shelter. Few snow drifts require caution but present no major challenge *** We started at 7.30am, with TH parking 1/2 full. sky was clear with distant clouds piling, but good views of the mountain. Trail is broad and easy with steady gradient in old growth forest, till the river crossing on a log bridge. After the crossing we found 5 per cent snow cover, mainly in gullies. Ascending to the Summerland Shelter through the switchbacks required crossing slushy, and sometimes slippery drifts of snow, for which poles and good tread was appreciated. it is not exposed but a fall could lead to a nasty gully slide. Crossing up is easy, but down required extra care in sneakers (not me). No snow issues on trail other than these gullies (6 in total). There were gorgeous up and down valley views after clearing the river. We headed slightly past the shelter towards Panhandle, just to enjoy marmots and views. it is well worth at least an additional .25 mile. Up there the trail was clear above the snow, but a few skiers were still hiking up seeking a run. We enjoyed spring flowers, numerous chipmunks and birds and great views up to "K" Spire. We clocked 9.5 miles round trip. Amazing hike. Where were the people? We saw only 18 ppl on trail in and out. returned to the car at 12.45 for approx 5 hours up and back.

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