Documenting my Rainier obsession
about Mount Rainier where to start
about this site future plans
itinerary planner permits

Wonderland Trail

Difficulty: strenuous 7-12 days

93 miles

Elevation gain: 27,000'

Max elevation: 6785'

Camps: Pyramid Creek, Devils Dream, South Puyallup River, Klapatche Park, North Puyallup River, Golden Lakes, South Mowich River, Mowich Lake, Ipsut Creek, Eagles Roost, Cataract Valley, Carbon River Camp, Dick Creek, Mystic Camp, Granite Creek, Sunrise Camp, White River, Summerland, Indian Bar, Nickel Creek, Maple Creek, Paradise River

First hiked by me: 2021

The Wonderland Trail is a 93 mile loop circumnavigating Mount Rainier. Along the way it takes in many of the best examples of every kind of terrain the mountain has to offer, with plenty of steep ascents and descents as it repeatedly climbs out of a glacial valley, crests a ridge with stunning views in every direction, then plummets back down into the next valley.

The trail was first established in 1915, primarily for use by rangers on patrol for poachers and wildfires although The Mountaineers hiked it that very first year. It wasn't until 1920 that the Park Service named it the Wonderland, realizing they had created one of the most magnificent recreational backcountry adventures in the world.

Most people take between 7 and 12 days to complete the circuit. The Park Service allows a maximum of 14 days for a reservation, while some exceptional fastpacking athletes do it in as little as 3 days. Or if you really want to have your mind blown, do a web search for 'rainier infinity loop'.

My Wonderland

pilgrimage (noun)

1. a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion

2. any long journey, especially one undertaken as a quest or for a votive purpose, as to pay homage

The Wonderland Trail means a lot to me. It is the reason I learned to backpack, and the reason this website exists. I got lucky in the 2021 permit lottery, and completed a leisurely 11 day circuit in early September, going clockwise from Longmire via Spray Park.