Trails and Backcountry Camp Conditions

RETURN TO THE WILDERNESS CAMPING AND HIKING HOMEPAGE

ALERT: Mount Rainier National Park's permitting process may change for the 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we anticipate access to the Mount Rainier Wilderness during the summer season. Use limits, access, and procedures could change in response to local and national guidance. If your trip is affected by these changes, you will be contacted by Mount Rainier National Park staff.
 
A large blowdown on the Wonderland Trail
The Trail Crew clearing a large tree from the Wonderland Trail

Mount Rainier can receive 700 or more inches of snow each winter. When spring comes to the mountains it is a very busy time for Park Rangers. The previous fall usually brings the rainy season which causes damage to trails and camps by raging waters, high winds and falling trees. All this damage gets covered by 10-20 feet of snow, and there it sits until melt-out which often does not occur in earnest until late June or early July. The snow usually starts melting in high volumes, causing more damage to trails and camps. The Trail Crew may have to clear hundreds of trees from the trails each year. Replacing footlogs and bridges is also a major project. Footlogs are also prone to being washed out anytime there is a prolonged period of rain regardless of the season.

Wilderness Rangers and Trail Crew members are out and about early in the season trying to assess the damage. Given the vastness of the trail system and the volumes of snow, this is a large task. As we get reliable information on the status of a trail, a section of trail or a backcountry camp, that information will be posted here on the website.

Please note that many park roads and facilities close during winter. At any time during the year the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly. Always check current weather conditions before heading out on a trail.

 

Backcountry Trails and Camp Reports

Trail and backcountry camp conditions are reported in detail during the summer months only (generally June-September). A Wilderness Camping Permit is required year round for camping or climbing in the park. Always check with Park Rangers for trail conditions before heading out into the backcountry. FIRES ARE NOT ALLOWED in the wilderness at Mount Rainier.

Be prepared for harsh conditions and fast-changing weather. River crossings are prone to washing out, potentially leaving you stranded on one side of the crossing. Always cross early in the day when water levels are at their lowest. Use extreme caution anytime you attempt to ford a river or creek. Expect log footbridges and other river crossings to be washed out during the fall/winter, when powerful rain events are common. These crossings are not replaced until the following spring/summer. Be prepared... mountain weather is good one minute, daunting the next. Learn more about hiking safety.

Check the Northwest Avalanche Center Report and the Mount Rainier Recreational Weather Report before heading out. Avalanche assessment and route-finding skills are needed for many winter activities in the park. Learn more about winter recreation.
Do not leave valuables in your car. While break-ins are infrequent, they do occur.

NOTE: Please note the date for reports and recognize that changes may have occurred since the report. Conditions are updated when there is new information.

Trails in the Carbon River Area

The Carbon River Road to Ipsut Creek Campground is CLOSED at the park entrance because of 2006 flood damage. It is now a five mile hike into Ipsut Creek Campground. Bikes are permitted ONLY as far as Ipsut Creek Campground. All backcountry camping requires a permit.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary

The Carbon River Ranger Station is located 5.5 miles past the Mowich Lake turn-off, toward the Carbon River entrance. It is on the left side of the road.

Ipsut Creek Campground is being managed as a backcountry camp. A wilderness permit will be required to camp at Ipsut Creek. Fires and pets are not permitted beyond the point where public vehicles can legally park at the park entrance.
Carbon River & Mowich Area Trails Map

Carbon Glacier Trail 0 Lower Carbon Bridge is IN. 07/17/2020
Chenuis Fall 0 Bridge is OUT! 07/03/2020
Green Lake 0 07/04/2020
Ipsut Falls 0 07/04/2020
Northern Loop: Carbon River- Windy Gap 1 Snow free to near Windy Gap. Continuous snow over Windy Gap and navigation required. Lower Carbon Bridge is IN. 07/10/2020
Paul Peak Trail 0 07/09/2020
Rain Forest Loop 0 07/09/2020
Spray Park 25 First snow starts 500' before lower Spray Park. By upper Spray Park the trail is 60% snow-covered. Near continuous snow beginning 6200 ft level and navigation required. A few weeks early for wildflowers in Spray Park. 07/25/2020
Seattle Park 45 Hikers on the Wonderland Trail or the Mother Mountain loop will experience significant periods of on-snow hiking and navigation. Route finding can be difficult in poor weather. 07/25/2020
Tolmie Peak 20 Snow covers trail in area near Eunice Lake. Trail can be muddy. Mosquitoes. 07/26/2020


Trails in the Longmire Area

The main road to Longmire is OPEN year round.

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Longmire Area Trails Map
Carter Falls (from Cougar Rock Campground) 0 07/09/2020
Comet Falls Trail (Van Trump Park Trail) 0 Bridge is damaged! Residual snow patches startin at 5200'. 07/30/2020
Denman Falls Trail 0 07/09/2020
Eagle Peak Trail 2 2 short 20 ft stretches of snow. Flowers are out. Mosquitoes are out. 07/25/2020
Goat Lake Trail (Glacier View Wilderness) Not inside Mount Rainier National Park
Kautz Creek Trail 2 Small snow patches. Avalanche lillies are out. Mosquitoes are out. 07/26/2020
Lake George & Gobblers Knob Trail 5 Trail to Lake George is snow free. Trail from Lake George to Gobbler's Knob 10% snow covered. Some flowers in bloom. 07/23/2020
Mildred Point Trail 5 07/30/2020
Mirror Lakes Trail 0 Flowers out. Mosquitoes out. 07/30/2020
Narada Falls Trail (Paradise to viewpoint below Narada Falls) 0 07/30/2020
North Puyallup River Trail 0 07/09/2020
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail 0 Mosquitoes are OUT and hungry. 07/30/2020
Rampart Ridge Trail (Upper section from Wonderland Trail to Van Trump Park and Comet Falls) 0 07/30/2020
Round Pass Trail 0 07/09/2020
Saint Andrews Creek Trail 5 07/04/2020
South Puyallup River Trail 0 A few downed trees. 06/12/2020
Trail of the Shadows 0 07/09/2020
Twin Firs Trail 0 Large trees across the trail. 06/05/2020
Tahoma Creek Trail CLOSED DUE TO DEBRIS FLOW AND HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS. THE TAHOMA CREEK HAS TAKEN OVER THE TRAIL. NOTE: This is an unmaintained trail in an area with high risk of geohazards such as flooding and debris flows. These events have occurred frequently in the past and are expected to occur again. There are only remnants of this trail remaining. Navigation is difficult and the route is hazardous. It is NOT recommended to hike Tahoma Creek Trail. 8/10/2019

Trails in the Ohanapecosh Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Ohanapecosh Area Trails Map
Cowlitz Divide Trail (Olallie Creek Trail) 0 Several downed trees blocking the trail. 07/17/2020
Eastside Trail 0 Only small patches of snow. Some downed trees on trail. 07/29/2020
Grove of the Patriarchs Trail 0 07/09/2020
Laughingwater Creek Trail 0 07/24/2020
Pacific Crest Trail - The Pacific Crest Trail runs mostly outside of Mount Rainier National Park
Shriner Peak Trail 5 Some snow patches at the top. Flowers in full bloom! 07/18/2020
Silver Falls Trail 0 07/09/2020

Trails in the Paradise Area

The main road to Longmire is OPEN year round. During winter months, the road from Longmire to Paradise closes nightly at the gate at Longmire. Check Twitter for daily road status updates (Twitter account not required to view).

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Paradise Area Trails Map
Alta Vista Trail 50 07/30/2020
Dead Horse Creek Trail 50 07/30/2020
Fourth Crossing Trail 50 07/30/2020
Glacier Vista Trail 50 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/20/2020
Golden Gate Trail 70 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/20/2020
High Lakes Loop Trail 50 Navigation and winter skills required. The east side of the Lakes trail is snow free to Faraway Rock. 07/14/2020
Lakes Trail (Mazama Ridge) 65 Patchy snow starts at 5300 ft and is consistant above 5500 ft. Navigation required. 07/21/2020
Moraine Trail 50 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/20/2020
Nisqually Vista Trail

30

07/30/2020
Paradise Glacier Trail 80 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/30/2020
Pebble Creek Trail (to the base of the Muir Snowfield) 70 Snow is patchy from Alta Vista to Pebble Creek where it becomes continuous. Navigation required. Good footwear and trekking poles advised. 07/30/2020
Pinnacle Peak Trail 20 Patchy snow with an easy to follow boot pack until scree slope near the top, then the boot pack goes off trail and navigation is tricky. Steep snow slopes. Microspikes and trekking poles recommended. 07/19/2020
Skyline Trail 70 Navigation and winter skills required. 07/30/2020
Snow Lake/Bench Lake Trail 0 07/06/2020
Stevens Creek Trail 0 07/09/2020

Trails in the White River Area

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Sunrise Area Trails Map
Burroughs Mountain Trail To First Burroughs (from Frozen Lake) 0 Practically snow free. Please stay on trail and protect fagile alpine ecosystems. 07/26/2020
First Burroughs Mountain LOOP Trail 0 Nearly snow free. Please stay on the trail and protect fagile alpine ecosystems. 07/26/2020
Burroughs Mountain to Glacier Basin Trail 0 Snow free except a few small patches. Flowers in bloom. 07/26/2020
Crystal Lakes Trail 0 Mosquitos! Flowers are out. Some ticks present. 07/15/2020
Crystal Peak Trail 0 Flowers and views. 07/15/2020
Emmons Moraine Trail 0 06/24/2020
Glacier Basin Trail 0 Wildflowers in bloom! Lupine is blooming in profusion this year. 07/24/2020
Grand Park Trail (via Northern Loop Trail) 1 A few lingering snow patches to Berkeley Park. Flowers are blooming in abundance. 07/26/2020
Huckleberry Creek Trail 0 Some small snow patches to Forest Lake. Use caution crossing streams when they are running high. 07/26/2020
Lake Eleanor Trail 0 Some lingering small snow patches. Grand Park is snow free. Wear water-proof boots and avoid stepping off trail where it is water-covered or muddy. 07/16/2020
Mt. Fremont Trail 0 Lingering small patch of snow near the lookout. Please stay on the trail and protect the fragile alpine ecosystem. 07/15/2020
Naches Peak Trail 0 Flowers are blooming. 07/29/2020
Northern Loop Trail: Berkeley Park to Windy Gap 2 Nearly snow free to Windy Gap. Continuous snow over Windy Gap with 5400' snow line, navigation required. West Fork crossing is IN and looking good. Some downed trees on trail. 07/10/2020
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from White River Road) 0 Flowers in bloom and mosquitoes are out. 07/24/2020
Owyhigh Lakes Trail (from Highway 123) 0 07/30/2020
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) NORTH from Chinook Pass to Sourdough Gap. 0 Many blooming flowers along the trail. A great early summer hike destination. A great early summer hike destination. 07/11/2020
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) SOUTH from Chinook Pass to Laughingwater Creek Trail junction 0 Chinook Pass to Naches Peak Trail junction: snow free except some snow patches. Flowers are blooming.
South of Naches Peak Trail junction: no report
07/29/2020
Palisades Lakes Trail 0 Wear proper footwear and refrain from trampling on vegetation to avoid wet and muddy trail. 07/19/2020
Silver Forest Trail 0 07/08/2020
Sourdough Ridge Trail West (Sunrise to Frozen Lake) 0 One lingering snow patch. 07/26/2020
Sourdough Ridge Trail East (Sunrise to Sunrise Point) 0 07/26/2020
Sunrise Rim Trail 0 Flowers are in bloom. 07/10/2020
Tipsoo Lake Trail 0 Please stay on trail and prevent damage to meadows and disturbance to amphibians in the lake. Flowers are blooming. 07/29/2020

Wonderland Trail

Trail Name

% Snow Cover

Trail Conditions

Update

Summary Use caution when hiking on step snow; evn a small patch can be icy and slippery between late evening and early morning.
Extra caution should be used wehn crossing rivers in the time of high water during warm weather days. Refer to Crossing Streams Safely
07/30/2020
Longmire to Indian Henry's 0 ALERT: Pyramid Creek running high. Use extra caution. Be prepared to find a good, safe crossing if the bridge is not safe. 08/2/2020
Indian Henry's to South Puyallup River 0 07/30/2020
South Puyallup River to Klapatche Park 5 07/25/2020
Klapatche Park to North Puyallup River 5 Some steep snow slopes. Switchbacks are visible. Please stay on the trail. 07/19/2020
North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes 0 07/25/2020
Golden Lakes to South Mowich River 0 The South Mowich River bridge is IN. 07/18/2020
South Mowich River to Mowich Lake 5 Snow at Mowich Lake area, then snow free. Several downed trees. The South Mowich River bridge is IN. During times of warm weather be prepared for high water and use extra caution while crossing rivers. 07/13/2020
Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground 5 Patchy snow along Mowich Lake 07/20/2020
Ipsut Creek Campground to Carbon Glacier 0 The bridge at the lower Carbon River crossing is IN. 07/20/2020
Carbon Glacier to Mystic Lake 20 7/15/2020
Mystic Lake to Sunrise 5 some steep snow patches remain. Sturdy footwear and trekking poles suggested. Don't just follow the bootpack. It may not be the trail. Stay on trail. 07/26/2020
Sunrise to White River Campground 0 Some lingering snow patches. White River bridge IN. 07/10/2020
White River Campground to Summerland 0 MULTIPLE BEAR ENCOUNTERS AT SUMMERLAND CAMP. PLEASE STORE ALL SENTED ITEMS PROPERLY ON THE BEAR POLE AT ALL TIMES.
At White River crossing, water may be over the bridge on warm weather days. When water is high, take the alternate route: go west on Campground Road to Sunrise Road, turn south and go about 0.2 miles to the trailhead of the Wonderland Trail connector trail.
07/30/2020
Summerland to Indian Bar 45 MULTIPLE BEAR ENCOUNTERS AT SUMMERLAND CAMP. PLEASE STORE ALL SENTED ITEMS PROPERLY ON THE BEAR POLE AT ALL TIMES.
Intermittent snow between 1/2 mile north of Panhandle Gap and a mile south of the Gap. Navigation required despite multiple boot packs as some boot pack are not on trail.
Bridge above Summerland is IN.
07/23/2020
Indian Bar to Box Canyon 3 Snow patches from INdian Bar to Peak 5930 area.
Waukaupauhauken Falls bridge is now the safest way to cross the Ohana River at Indian Bar.
07/23/2020
Box Canyon to Reflection Lakes

0

LANDSLIDE BETWEEN MAPLE CREEK CAMP AND MARTHA FALLS USE CAUTION WITH LOOSE SOIL AND FALLING ROCK. 07/10/2020
Reflection Lakes to Narada Falls 2 07/10/2020
Narada Falls to Longmire 0 07/17/2020


Carbon Area Backcountry Camps
The road to Ipsut Creek Campground is closed at the park entrance, secondary to flood damage in 2006. All backcounrty camping requires a permit. Obtain Wilderness Permits at Carbon River just inside the entrance to the park.

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation)
Summary

The road to Ipsut Creek is CLOSED. The hike is 5 miles from the Carbon River Entrance to Ipsut Creek Campground, which is now managed as a wilderness camp and requires a wilderness permit. There is a new Ranger Station located about 2 miles before the Carbon River entrance. This is the place to get permits and information for the Carbon/Mowich area.The Ranger Station at the entrance is no longer in operation.

Carbon River Camp #4/1 (3195')

0 Bear pole UP. 07/11/2020
Cataract Valley Camp #6/1 (4620') 0 Bear Poe UP. Toilet open. 07/30/2020
Dick Creek Camp #2/0 (4185') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/11/2020
Eagle's Roost Camp #7/0 (4885') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open 07/20/2020
Ipsut Creek #12/1 (2400') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 06/12/2020
Mowich Lake Walk-in Camp (4900') 15 07/23/2020
Mystic Camp #7/1 (5570') 0 Bear poles UP. Toilet open. 07/12/2020
South Mowich River Camp #3/1 (2605') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 06/10/2020


Longmire/Paradise Area Backcountry Camps

All backcountry camping requires a permit. Obtain Wilderness Camping permits daily at the Longmire Wilderness Information Center (Summer only), the Longmire Museum (open year-round) or The Paradise Visitor Center (open weekends only from October-June).

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation)
Summary
Devil's Dream Camp #7/1 (5060') 0 Bear poles up. Toilet open. 07/15/2020
Golden Lakes Camp #5/1 (5130') 0 Bear poles up. Toilet open. 07/30/2020
Klapatche Park Camp #4/0 (5515') 50 Bear Pole UP. 07/20/2020
Lake George Camp #5/1 (4320') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 07/15/2020
Maple Creek Camp #4/1 (2815') 0 Bear pole is UP. 06/15/2020
North Puyallup River Camp #3/1 (3750') 0 Bear Poles UP. Toilet open. 06/19/2020
Paradise River Camp #3/1 (3805') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet Open. 07/03/2020
Pyramid Creek Camp #2/0 (3765') 0 Bear Pole up. Toilet open. 06/27/2020
Snow Lake Camp #2/0 (4690') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/02/2020
South Puyallup River Camp #4/1 (4000') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/22/2020

Eastside Backcountry Camps

Camp Name

% Snow Cover

Camp Conditions

Update

# of Individual/Group sites are show as #I/G, (elevation)
Summary Diligently practice proper food storage; never leave food unattended including in a backpack or tent; never leave food in a tent at night. 07/29/2020
Berkeley Park Camp #2/1 (5375') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/08/2020
Deer Creek Camp #2/0 (2950') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/04/2020
Dick's Lake Camp #1/0 (5675') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/19/2020
Fire Creek Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/08/2020
Forest Lake Camp #1/0 (5660') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/29/2020
Glacier Basin Camp #5/1 (5965') 0

Bear barrels IN. Toilet open.

07/04/2020
Granite Creek #3/1 (5765')
0 Bear PoleS UP. Toilets open. 07/12/2020
Indian Bar #4/1 (5120') 0 Bear poles UP. Toilet open. 07/25/2020
James Camp #3/1 (4620') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 07/09/2020
Lake Eleanor Camp #3/1 (5000') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. Mosquitoes out. 07/27/2020
Lower Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5450') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet is open. 06/07/2020
Nickel Creek Camp #3/1 (3385') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/07/2020
Olallie Creek Camp #2/1 (3940') 0 Bear Pole UP. Toilet open. 07/17/2020
Shriner Peak Camp #2/0 (5355') 50 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. Site 2 still snow covered. 07/18/2020
Summerland Camp #5/1 (5940') 0 ALERT!: A bear (+2 cubs) got into 2 different camps, one of those resulted in a food reward. The bear was mostly nonreactive to campers' efforts to scare the bear away. The bear was seen walking through camp a few times a day. Rangers are monitoring the situation.
Diligently practice proper food storage; never leave food unattended including in a backpack or tent; never leave food in a tent at night.
Both bear poles up. Toilet is open.
07/29/2020
Sunrise Walk-In Camp #8/2 (6245') 50 Bear boxes in. Toilet open. 07/26/2020
Tamanos Creek Camp #4/2 (5270') 50 Bear pole UP. Toilet open. 3 out of 5 sites snow free. 06/24/2020
Three Lakes Camp #2/1 (4680') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet is open. 07/25/2020
Upper Crystal Lake Camp #2/0 (5825') 0 Bear pole UP. Toilet Open. 06/29/2020
Upper Palisades Lake Camp #2/0 (5835') 0 Bear pole up. Toilet open. 07/10/2020
White River Walk-in Camp #3/1 (4300') 0 Bear Pole UP. 06/20/2020
Yellowstone Cliffs Camp #2/0 (5180') 98 Bear Pole UP. Toilet still snow covered. 07/10/2020

Last updated: August 3, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

Phone:

(360) 569-2211

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