Mount Rainier’s 93 mile Wonderland Trail explores the deep valleys and ridges carved from the volcano by millennia of glacial flows.
The Wonderland Trail traverses a severe landscape, one that is undergoing rapid and constant geologic change, but cloaked in a rich web of life that thrives on the fringes of this extreme environment.
If you were to sample any section of the trail, it is likely you’d find it is either climbing or descending a ridge, and very rarely flat for more than the distance of a stone’s throw. The typical hiker will find this route strenuous and challenging, with average daily elevation changes of several thousand feet.
Hiking the Wonderland Trail provides one of the most intimate and complete portraits of Mount Rainier, its irregular profile ever-shifting overhead as the trail explores subalpine meadows, clings to the edges of massive glaciers, and dips into the dense lowland forests of Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar. It is a treasure of the American landscape, and for many hikers, one of the richest and most rewarding backpacking trips they will ever experience.
This guide explores each section of the Wonderland Trail in detail, starting from Longmire.