Planning: The Wonderland Trail Expedition

2004-11-13 : Michelle always plans lots of trips. Well, I've always wanted to hike around Mt. Rainier. It'll never happen if I don't try, so I figure I'll pick a date aways out and see what I can do.

2006-08-03 :

  • Final pack weight: 44.5 lbs (incl water, incl camera, excl GPS).
  • Final SO weight: 50.5 lbs
  • 2006-08-03 backpacking weight.xls - 31K

    Trail status:

  • Mowich Lake camp: 0% snow (6/9)
  • Spray Park : 10% snow. The flowers are out! Just a few snow patches left in upper Spray Park. (7/11)
  • Seattle Park 50% snow. Upper part of trail still under snow. (7/10)
  • Cataract Valley camp: 0% snow (6/9)
  • Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake: 0% snow. The flowers are out and the snow is gone (7/8)
  • Mystic Lake camp: 0% snow (7/11)
  • Mystic Lake to Sunrise: 5% snow. One section of trail near the West Fork of the White River has been washed out for several years and the trail crew is in the process of completing a trail re-route. Until the re-route is done, a temporary detour of approx. 1/4 mile is required - follow the flagging. Patches of snow from Skyscraper Pass to Frozen Lake but routefinding is not an issue. (7/8)
  • Berkeley Park camp: 0% snow.(7/19)
  • Sourdough Ridge Trail 5% snow. Trail is snow-free until just below Frozen Lake. Snow patches beyond but route finding is not an issue. (7/8)
  • Sunrise to White River Campground 30% snow. (6/23)
  • White River camp: 0% snow. Sites are still a little wet but snow free. (7/19)
  • Burroughs Mountain Trail: 10% snow. First Burroughs has one steep snow bank on the uphill and second Burroughs is almost snow-free. (7/19)
  • Glacier Basin Trail 0% snow. Trail is snow-free. The meadow is blooming with the snow line starting at the Yellow Cliff (6500'). Common Black Bear sightings on the trail. (7/19)

    2006-08-02 :

  • 2006-08-02 backpacking weight.xls - 28K : Partial packing checklist, w/ weights.
  • 2006-08-02 wonderland maps.ppt - 990K : Topo maps with miles-to-go markers and elevation profiles.
  • 2006-08-02 sunrise composite.jpg - 545K : map: Satellite image of Sunrise area (from Yahoo Maps), w/ hand-drawn overlays highlighting trails (since no two topo maps agree).

    2006-07-03 : Photos from scouting trip at Mowich Lake Trailhead.

    2006-04-27 :

  • Campgrounds
  • Mowich Lake: very primitive. No reservations taken. Campsites undesignated ($0), walk-in only. No potable water. 17 mile unpaved road. Ipsut Creek (Carbon Glacier) has designated sites ($8) but no water.
  • White River: No reservations taken. 112 sites ($12), has water.

    2006-04-27 : Good pictures. Another.

    2006-04-10 :
    Reservation Confirmation:

  • Number of people: 5
  • Date Issued: 04/10/2006
  • Issuing Office: Longmire Wilderness Information Center
    Date Location
    2006-08-07 Mowich Lake Trailhead
    2006-08-07 Cataract Valley Camp
    2006-08-08 Mystic Camp
    2006-08-09 Berkeley Park Camp
    2006-08-10 White River CG Trailhead
  • MUST obtain camping permit, prior to starting. Pick up day of, or one day before. Pick up at Ranger Station or Wilderness Information Center. Bring conf. letter. Note: No ranger station at Mowich lake - closest is Wilkeson. (Others are Longmire, Paradise, White River, Ohanapecosh.) ((Wilkeson Ranger Station is in town of Wilkeson which os one of the last towns on the road to Mowich Lake / Carbon Glacier area. Addr is on bottom of this page.))

    2006-03-22 :

  • Backcountry Camps
  • trail map
  • Park Map

    2006-02-16 : Reservation form - Reservations can be faxed or mailed between March 15 and April 1. They will be processed in random order en mass on April 1. After that, they are are processed in the order in which they are received.


    Things To Research / Unanswered Questions

    The Wonderland Trail page at the NPS. A few key points:


    map start end book dist (mi) Topo! dist (mi) Topo!/book elev gain (ft) elev loss (ft)
    large map Movich Lake Campground Cataract Valley Camp 6.73 5.39 80.1% +2053 -2139
    large map Cataract Valley Camp Mystic Lake Camp 7.83 5.58 71.3% +2982 -2439
    large map Mystic Lake Camp Berkeley Camp 8.70 6.24 71.7% +2385 -1956
    large map Berkeley Camp White River Campgound 7.03 5.22 74.3% +1210 -2740
    Berkeley Camp White River Campgound
    via Burroughs Mtn
    9.2 (est) 6.89 75% +1735 -3262
    C o m m e n t s :    
    (nothing yet)