Wonderland Trail

Mt Rainier National Park

Ashford, Washington

Accessible at several points as it circles Mt Rainier

I have only hiked a few short segments of the Wonderland Trail, but I recognize that this trail is to Mt. Rainier National Park what the Appalachian Trail is to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Wonderland Trail is a 93-mile-long loop trail that circles Mt. Rainier. Over the course of those 93 miles, elevation changes result in about 22,000 feet of ups (and downs), making for sometimes strenuous hiking even for those covering only short segments of the trail. Some will do the whole loop, taking about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to do so. Wilderness camping permits are required, whether one is doing the whole loop or spending just a couple days along the trail.

The trail passes through woods and meadows, it crosses streams. It avoids mountain climbing and glaciers, but especially at higher points along the trail snow is possible any month, including carryover from the previous winter.

Most visitors to Mt. Rainier National Park will drive from point to point, perhaps taking short hikes at various destinations. Trails like Wonderland can provide a much more intitimate experience with the park.

mt rainier wonderland trail

Along the Wonderland Trail (P14A0554)

More About Mt. Rainier National Park

Spectacular scenery. Great hiking. Challenging mountain climbing. Mt. Rainier has a lot to offer to those looking to get away from it all and to those looking for a great day trip out of Seattle. Or even a week-trip if you choose to hike the challenging Wonderland Trail.

When experiencing Mt. Rainier National Park, it can be easy to forget that Mt. Rainier is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. It has much in common with Mt. St. Helens. But Mt. Rainier is bigger, it's covered with much more ice and snow, and it is closer to major population centers. Lahars from past eruptions have flowed as far as present-day downtown Seattle and Tacoma. So enjoy it while you can.

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Nearby Sights

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