Wonderland Trail: Truly a track of wonder



If you are a fan of hiking, then this time do make a plan of hiking the Wonderland Trail of Mount Rainier in Seattle. The Mount Rainier hiking is really worth an experience for those who wish to thrill their vacation days. Among all the Mount Rainier trails, the Wonderland Trail is the most admirable one as it offers the best vistas of the mountain itself. It is 93 miles long that wanders flanking the Mount Rainier’s base and also covers some raised zones including the highest point at Panhandle Gap, which is of 6,750 feet.

Most of the people who have taken up this Mount Rainier hiking surprisingly are unable to complete the entire adventure each year. So, you know that it is among the toughest Mount Rainier trails. For most of the walkers, it takes around two weeks, while others just explore some of its sections. So, if you dare to challenge yourself, choose Mount Rainier hiking on the adventurous Wonderland Trail. Enjoy the challenge of this quite an ardent trek that demands maximum climbing than hiking. This ascent is made difficult by some notably dangerous river crossings along with the thrilling two suspension bridges. One of the ideal parts of the trek is at around Little Tahoma. Okay, relax! If you cannot make up to trek this one of the most treacherous Mount Rainier trails, try camping along it. For your own comfort, there are approximately 18 camp sites and that you have to certainly reserve them if your time of Mount Rainier hiking is in the peak season.

The Wonderland Trail is completely in the national park, which is known for its scenic views that covers the major areas of the park including subalpine meadows adorned with flowers and lowland forests. The most astonishing part is the trail’s circular meandering that gives a chance to the hikers to explore the varied faces of Mount Rainier that is naturally sculpted with 25 glaciers each known by its own unique name. Known as one of the most strenuous Mount Rainier trails, the Wonderland Trail seems to almost ascend or descend the edges that flank the mountain on which gazing from the highest point at 2,057 m, which is known as the Panhandle Gap. This is the most breathtaking point here. As you move ahead on this scenic, but tough trail, you will come across several river crossings as well as two suspension bridges. The risk here is that several of these rivers are traversed on ancient log bridges that get carry away when the rains pour down heavily or the rivers overflow due to much melting of the snow. This is evident from the fact that maximum number of bridges were swept away in 2006 because of a major storm making the Wonderland Trail impassable in 2007.

Late summer is the peak season for the Mount Rainier hiking that is mostly sunny as well as dry. But, the location of the mountain near the Pacific as well as its high elevation has brought moisture as snow or rain due to which in the last years, the Wonderland Trail is yet layered with snow even in June and early July.

Just like the several hikers, I also took the traditional path that is stuck between the Carbon River and Mowich Lake and passes through the Ipsut Pass as well as the creek of the same name. However, there is an alternative route that passes across the Spray and Seattle Parks.

The Wonderland Trail is also known for its memorable campsites throughout the summer for which you need to book yourself for a majority of them. 18 camps on the sides of the trail stretch 3 to 7 miles and each of them bears 1 to 8 sites. Each site here can accommodate 1 to 5 people along with a minimum of two tents. If you are a group and need space for more than 2 tents, reserve for a group site that is offered at a few camps holding 3 to 5 tents. However, the group must be of at least 6 people and maximum 12. Each of the camps on the trail bears clean grounds, close by water source, bear pole for food hanging, and a composting toilet.

A Wilderness Camping Permit is required for hiking the trail, a backcountry permit along with the reservations for the required camping zones. Look for the advance booking for the permits that usually begins on March 15 each year. There is also a lottery occurring on April 1 for fulfilling the permit needs of several hikers as possible.

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