Thanks for stopping by.
As a Washington native, I count myself fortunate to have grown up in a place so rugged and worthy of exploration, that guidebooks and maps were always an integral part of my life. During the rainy, dark months that come with living on the Olympic Peninsula, I often found myself feasting on the writings of Robert L. Wood and methodically planning the next summer’s backpacking trips. For me, this armchair exploration was a welcome escape from the daily grind and not only improved my appreciation of the places I visited, but also contributed as much enjoyment to life as the backpacking itself.
The Wonderland Trail is one of the greatest backpacking jewels of the Pacific Northwest, and it has served as a personal fascination ever since my older brother brought me along for a trip over Panhandle Gap when I was fifteen. Many years and trips around the mountain later, I’ve accumulated experiences on the trail in varying seasonal conditions along with thousands of photographs and notes. I decided to build this guidebook-style website as a source of inspiration and information for other folks interested in hiking the Wonderland Trail.
My goal for this site was to make a trail-focused guide that is rich in images and addresses the basic questions that most people have when preparing for a long backpacking trip. I hope you find it useful in planning your trip, and welcome any input or contributions from the community in making it a better resource for other hikers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to your ebook?
I have stopped offering the downloadable e-book because it unexpectedly turned into a part-time job teaching people how to load books on their Kindles and iPads. I just didn’t have the time to address this. In the future I might revise and publish the book on Amazon, but for now, I’ve included much of the material for free on this website. Also, the website offers a richer experience than can be had in e-book format.
I missed the deadline for early reservations. Can you help me get reservations? How likely is it that I can get a walk-in permit?
I can’t help with reservations or most questions about reservations. In years past, walk-in permits were often easy to come by, but now the Wonderland Trail is an increasingly popular destination, and permits are in high demand. Contact Mount Rainier National Park for the best information on permits.
I’m flying to the Pacific Northwest. How can I get to Mount Rainier without renting a car?
In a nutshell, you’ll either need to arrange private transportation with a cab, or just rent a car for the entire period of your hike. It is quite challenging to get to the park without a car.
I’m trying to reach someone who’s currently hiking the trail. Can you help me get someone a message?
Contact the Mount Rainier National Park service if you need to reach someone on the trail due to an emergency. The department has systems in place for dealing with all types of situations, including reaching hikers in the backcountry. The author of this website does not have any ability to help with this or any other emergency situation in the park.
Can I reuse your photos?
Thanks for asking. Please contact me for licensing info. Explicit permission is required before using my photos, but I let most non-profits and government agencies use my photos free of charge and have high-resolution copies available.
What kind of camera gear do you use for backpacking?
The photos on this website were taken between the late 1990′s and present. I’ve used the Olympus OM series, Olympus E series, and most recently the mirrorless Sony NEX series. Most of the film is Fuji Velvia and Kodak Elite Chrome 100 and has been scanned with Nikon and Minolta dedicated film scanners. Currently on long trips I carry a small Slik tripod, a wide angle to normal zoom lens, a polarizing filter, a skylight filter, a graduated neutral density filter, and piles of batteries. My whole kit usually weighs in at 3 pounds.
Can I use your itinerary planner for a different trail?
Can I hire you to build an itinerary planner for a different trail?
Still have a question?
Please give this site a thoughtful search before contacting me. I’d love to hear your suggestions, corrections, constructive criticism, or questions that aren’t answered by my guide.