You can now hike all the Wonderland Trail
This is fantastic news, and a huge thank you is due to the National Park Service, plus committed volunteers from Student Conservation Association and Washington Trails Association. There's still much work to be done on the Wonderland and on other trails throughout the park. And across the Cascades and Olympics, trails are still damaged or inaccessible because of last fall's storms. It's great that you can now hike around Mount Rainier--but hiking around two other volcanoes in the state is still difficult.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which manages Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, has said that hiking around Mount St. Helens should not be attempted at this time. Particularly difficult are damaged sections of Loowit Trail #216. Similarly, road washouts on FR 23 have made access to the Round-the-Mountain Trail around Mount Adams difficult. We've also been hearing reports of large, but passable washouts on sections of the Round-the-Mountain Trail #9 at Salt and Crofton Creeks that require scrambling into 100-feet-wide gulches carved out by a large outburst floods.
So, even though there's good news for the Wonderland, storm recovery is far from complete. If you've never signed up for a work party, consider doing so. No experience is necessary. And continue to write to your congressional representatives, impressing upon them the need for $70 million in storm damage repairs for our mountain roads and trails.
Photo: Matt Contorchick giving safety talk during a WTA trail work party of REI volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park.