There simply is no multi-day hike in the contiguous United States that compares with the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier—because there’s no mountain in the Lower 48 like glacier-clad, 14,410-foot Mount Rainier. Backpacking the Wonderland Trail, one repeatedly sees Rainier fill the horizon at a seemingly unbelievable scale, a sight always thrilling and inspiring. You will cross meadows choked with wildflowers and numerous crystalline creeks and frothing rivers gray with “glacial flour,” pass countless waterfalls and cascades, and likely see mountain goats, marmots, deer, and perhaps black bears.
This e-guide lays out a nine-day, 90.3-mile Wonderland Trail itinerary that I believe most backpackers would find perfect because it hits several of the best backcountry camps and many of the hike’s best vistas at ideal times of day—and spreads out the miles and substantial elevation gain and loss as evenly as possible, including going down (rather than up) the longest and steepest stretches. It also conveniently allows for a food cache almost exactly mid-trip on day four—so you’re never carrying more than five days of food weight.
Slightly shorter than the 93-mile full Wonderland Trail, it includes a common alternate to one section of the Wonderland on the higher and more-scenic Spray Park Trail and begins and finishes on some of the trail’s most glorious miles.
Watch the video below and see my stories “5 Reasons You Must Backpack Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail” and “American Gem: Backpacking Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail,” (the latter requires a paid subscription to my blog to read in full) about the trip described in greater detail in this e-guide.
Purchase this e-guide NOW to begin planning your backpacking trip on the incomparable Wonderland Trail through Mount Rainier National Park!
Add These Expert E-Guides to Your Order!
Few wilderness backpacking trips in the country measure up, step for step, to a multi-day trek along the incomparable Teton Crest Trail in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Variously 35 to 39 miles, depending on the route you hike, the TCT delivers a consummate backpacking experience.
Looking for a magnificent, first backpacking trip in Yosemite that hits all the famous highlights and is beginner-friendly? This 37.2-mile loop from Yosemite Valley in the core of the park is the one for you.
With vertiginous cliffs and peaks, numerous waterfalls and cascades, crack-riddled glaciers plastering mountainsides, and raw wilderness where a range of wildlife long gone from most of the continent thrives in shocking abundance, Glacier National Park embodies the highest aspirations of backpackers.