Hiking the Wonderland Trail
The Wonderland Trail offers 360-degree views of of ways to see Mount Rainier. Because you can start anywhere, it's best to start planning using maps of the area. See what trailhead is closest to where you live, and works best with your itinerary.
Round the Mountain
Thru-hiking is a little different than a typical backpacking trip. There's a lot of basic knowledge that applies to any long trail, along with plenty of information specific to the Wonderland Trail.
Get a sense of what goes into any thru-hike below, then head over to Mount Rainier National Park's website to get the scoop on available campgrounds, permits required and lots of other inspiration.
Tips for Long Hikes
- Long Distance Hiking 101: Start here to make your thru-hike successful.
- Conditioning Tips: Get strong.
- Passes and Permits: You Need Them: It's true. Learn why.
- Gear: Stuff WTA has tested over the years so you don't have to.
Bonus: Author Tami Asars has a wonderful book full of itineraries for hiking the Wonderland Trail.
Plan Your Trip
Want to apply for a permit? It's a bit of a process. You'll want to enter the lottery with Mount Rainier National Park for your best chance at getting a permit. Check Mount Rainier's wilderness permits page to read up on the process.
- Wonderland Trail Campgrounds
- Wonderland Elevation Profile
- Wilderness Permits at Mount Rainier
- Maps at Mount Rainier
- Roads Status at Rainier
Note: Summer comes late to Washington -- you may still encounter snow until mid-July in some places. Consider this as you plan your hike.
Day Hikes and Overnights
If going all the way around Rainier isn't in the cards for you, there are many other ways to enjoy the Wonderland. Below are links to day hikes and overnight options in each quarter of the park, using WTA's regions to help get your bearings.
Want to try creating your own? Grab a map and piece together a loop or a traverse using the trail -- let us know where you go by filing a trip report.