Hiking Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail

The Wonderland Trail is a 93 mile hiking route encircling Mount Rainier.
Explore the trail and plan your trip with the Wonderland Trail Guide.

Trip length

The Wonderland Trails is frequently hiked in its entirety in eight to twelve days, and the many trailheads around the mountain provide opportunity for shorter visits to the different highlights of the trail. Longmire is the most common place to start, but Mowich Lake and Sunrise are also fine choices. Read more...

Permits required

The ecosystems are fragile and the impact of visitors is a strain. Wilderness campsites are limited and the national park service requires permits in order to meter the flood of visitors that come every summer. Permits must be obtained by reservation lottery early in the year or on a first-come-first-served basis. With each passing year, the hike becomes increasingly popular, and demand is higher for permits. Read more...

Caching food

With help from the postal and national park services, you can have food caches delivered to Longmire, Mowich Lake, and Sunrise. By using food caches, you can substantially decrease your pack weight and make your hike easier. Read more...


Mount Rainier's Northern Loop Trail

The Northern Loop trail explores the northern section of Mount Rainier National Park. In conjunction with the northern Wonderland Trail, it provides a 32.6 mile loop hike that can be hiked in 3-4 days from Sunrise. This can also be extended to include the Ipsut Pass and Spray Park loop past Mowich Lake, for a 44 mile, 5-7 day trip.

The best time to hike the Northern Loop Trail is between late July and mid-September. Though it varies from year to year, the first two weeks of August are generally the best time to catch wildflower meadows in full bloom. If the rains haven’t yet returned to the Pacific Northwest, early to mid-September is often the most comfortable time of the year to hike, as there will be fewer insects, and generally cooler daytime temperatures.

The Northern Loop Trail well known for being a strenuous route with challenging elevation changes. It begins 2.4 miles from the Sunrise Visitor Center on the Wonderland Trail in the expansive meadows of Berkeley Park. The trail descends into the valley basin between Skyscraper Mountain and Mount Fremont where meadows line the headwaters of Lodi Creek. Read more...