Photos — Hike Around Mt. Rainier on The Wonderland Trail

Brett 'Grandpa' Kretzer
The Wonderland Trail Hike Around Mt Rainier Photos Backpacking Washington State Thru-Hiking GGG Garage Grown Gear


The Wonderland Trail is a roughly 100-mile trail that circumnavigates 14,411 foot Mt. Rainier. With about 24,000 feet of elevation gain … it’s a bit of a doozy. The trail winds up and over and across the many ridges of a massive volcano. The slopes of Mount Rainier are home to ancient lowland forests, wetlands, alpine tundra and some of the most glaciated scenery in the US. 

One of the coolest aspects of the Wonderland Trail is just how huge Rainier looks. The perspective of a 14,000 foot mountain towering above the trail is staggering. You get the privilege of staring up at Rainier’s glaciers and ridges from every single angle as you dosey doe with the mountain. There are a lot of pictures of Mt. Rainier in this album…

The low point of the Wonderland Trail is in the old growth rainforest along Ipsut creek at 2,450 feet, and the high point is at Panhandle Gap, just shy of 6,800 feet.
My partner, ‘Flan’, and I hiked the Wonderland trail at the end of August, which turned out to be a perfect time for it. The air was crisp at night but warm during the day, and the blueberries were in full blossom. We saw 11 bears in 6 days!

The Wonderland Trail is a trail for everyone. Allow yourself 10 days, and it’s an amazing first thru-hike, while seasoned hikers can knock this one out in 5 or 6 days for a challenging thigh burner.

It’s best to make a reservation for the Wonderland Trail. To do so, you’ll need to enter the early access lottery. This year the lottery opens on February 12. 

Approximately two thirds of summer season (June - September) backpacking permits are made available for advance reservation. The remaining one third of permits are issued at park Wilderness Information Centers on a first-come, first-served basis.

I hope you enjoy these photos from our backpacking trip, and they inspire your own adventure to this magical place!

— Brett 'Grandpa' Kretzer


Click Photos for a Slideshow ↓

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1 comment



thanks for sharing! would you be willing to share your itinerary>?

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