August 3, 2009

Wonderland Trail Preview 1

Friday the Northern Rangers will set off on our great adventure of 2009, the Wonderland Trail.

Our trip will last from August 7 - August 15. Each day this week, I'll be previewing the Wonderland Trail in preparing the readers for our trip.

(And you can bet that there will be some great Northern Rangers videos when we get back)

Today's preview is about the trail itself.


The Wonderland Trail is often considered the elite trail of Washington state, covering 93-miles as it circumnavigates Mount Rainier.

Built in 1915, the trail was originally used as a way to attract visitors to Mount Rainier National Park, as well as a beat route for the rangers to work.

The Wonderland Trail follows many ridges and rivers while it passes through all the major life zones of the mountain, from alpine lakes to lowland meadows.

While hiking through these areas, daily elevation gains and losses of over 3,500 feet are common. It has been calculated that after completing the trail, a hiker has climbed the equivalent of hiking to the summit of Mount Rainier 2 1/2 times.

It is recommended to take between 10 to 14 days to complete the trail. However, we'll be doing it in eight days.

For complete trail descriptions refer to:

  • Adventure Guide to Mount Rainier by Jeff Smoot
  • Discovering the Wonders of the Wonderland Trail by Bette Filley
  • 50 Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park by Ira Spring and Harvey Manning
  • Hiking Guides to Mount Rainier National Park (north, east and southwest sections)
And I also highly recommend Trails Illustrated National Park Series Mount Rainier National Park map of the trail. It's waterproof and provides great definition of the area.

On average 200 to 250 hikers complete the entire trail. And this summer, hopefully the Northern Rangers will be added to that list.

Tune into tomorrow for a feature on Wilderness Permits and Campgrounds on the trail.

No comments:

Post a Comment