Wonderland Trail – Westside – Mowich Lake to Longmire

Route: Wonderland Trail – Westside Section – Mowich Lake To Longmire (Plus Side Trips)
Distance: 38.5 (Around 35 Miles On The Wonderland Trail)
Days: 4
Longest Day: 11.3 Miles
Campsites: Mowich Lake, Golden Lakes, Klapatche Park, Devils Dream

Wonderland West Route

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Update (8-10-2014): Due to high temps and melting snow there has been reports on NWHikers that the Mowich Bridges may be out possibly adding a sketchy ford. Please always check trail conditions with a Backcountry Ranger before attempting any hike.

Dad and I were lucky once again this year and got a permit for the section of the Wonderland Trail that we wanted. Even better we got the camps we requested.  We left a car down at Longmire and then Mom drove us up a couple of days later and dropped us off to camp at Mowich Lake so that we could get an early start on the first day of our hike.

Night Before (7-15):

We camped the night before our trip at the Mowich Lake Campground. It was a hot night and the campground is like camping in a parking lot, but it meant we could get a early start the next morning.

Picking Up Our Permit At The Carbon River Ranger Station

Picking Up Our Permit At The Carbon River Ranger Station

Mom And Dad At The Carbon River Ranger Station

Mom And Dad At The Carbon River Ranger Station

Mount Rainier National Park Sign

Mount Rainier National Park Sign

Mowich Lake

Mowich Lake

Wonderland Trail Sign

Wonderland Trail Sign

Tunnel Under The Road

Tunnel Under The Road

Bear Grass At Mowich Lake

Bear Grass At Mowich Lake

Mowich Lake Ranger Station

Mowich Lake Ranger Station

Mowich Lake From The Mowich Lake Ranger Station

Mowich Lake From The Mowich Lake Ranger Station

Mowich Lake Camp

Mowich Lake Camp

Mowich Lake to Golden Lakes (7-16):

The trail from Mowich Lake to Golden Lakes was in a good shape. All bridges were in and the trail was snow free. The weather was HOT. Once at the lakes we took a swim in the lakes and then found an old trail down to one of the lower lakes. We then went up to a open spot between campsites 4 and 5 and watched the sun set over the Olympic Mountains.

Moon Over Camp

Moon Over Camp

Ready To Head Out

Ready To Head Out

Wonderland Trail Sign

Wonderland Trail Sign

First View Of Mount Rainier

First View Of Mount Rainier

North Mowich River Crossing

North Mowich River Crossing

Wonderland Sign At South Mowich River Camp

Wonderland Sign At South Mowich River Camp

Creek By The Wonderland Trail

Creek By The Wonderland Trail

South Mowich River

South Mowich River

South Mowich River Crossing

South Mowich River Crossing

South Mowich River Crossing

South Mowich River Crossing

Climbing Up

Climbing Up

Climbed Up Out Of The Trees

Climbed Up Out Of The Trees

Bear Grass Around The Trail

Bear Grass Around The Trail

Mount Rainier Above Golden Lakes

Mount Rainier Above Golden Lakes

Wonderland Trail At Golden Lakes

Wonderland Trail At Golden Lakes

Golden Lakes Ranger Station

Golden Lakes Ranger Station

Swimming in Golden Lakes

Swimming in Golden Lakes

Golden Lake

Golden Lake

Golden Lake Camp

Golden Lake Camp

Lower Golden Lake

Lower Golden Lake

At Lower Golden Lake

At Lower Golden Lake

At Lower Golden Lake

At Lower Golden Lake

Sun About To Set

Sun About To Set

Alpine Glow On Mount Rainier

Alpine Glow On Mount Rainier

Sunrise Over The Olympic Mountains

Sunrise Over The Olympic Mountains

Golden Lakes to Klapatche Park (7-17):

The trail from Golden Lakes to Klapatche was mostly in good condition and it was another hot day. However, the climb up from North Puyallup River Camp to Klapatche Park was steep and a good deal of the trail was overgrown with brush. Snow covered the trail for the last 100 yards coming up the hill into Klapatche Park. We were the only ones in Kapatche Park for about 3 hours until another pair of hikers showed up. We took the time to go swimming in Aurora Lake which was surprisingly warm. Before dinner we made a trip up to St. Andrews Lake which has not melted out yet.

Fog In Puget Sound

Fog In Puget Sound

Wonderland Trail

Wonderland Trail

Wonderland Trail

Wonderland Trail

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Mount Rainier And Bear Grass

Mount Rainier And Bear Grass

Wonderland Sign At North Fork Of The Puyallup Camp

Wonderland Sign At North Fork Of The Puyallup Camp

North Fork Of The Puyallup Bridge

North Fork Of The Puyallup Bridge

North Fork Of The Puyallup River

North Fork Of The Puyallup River

On The North Fork Of The Puyallup Bridge

On The North Fork Of The Puyallup Bridge

Wonderland Trail Overgrown By Brush

Wonderland Trail Overgrown By Brush

Puyallup and Tahoma Glaciers On Mount Rainier

Puyallup and Tahoma Glaciers On Mount Rainier

Puyallup and Tahoma Glaciers

Snow On The Trail

Snow On The Trail

Avalanche Lilies

Avalanche Lilies

Klapatche Park

Klapatche Park

Swimming in Aurora Lake

Swimming in Aurora Lake

Swimming in Aurora Lake

Swimming in Aurora Lake

Klapatche Park

Klapatche Park

Saint Andrews Lake

Saint Andrews Lake

At Saint Andrews Lake

At Saint Andrews Lake

Wonderland Trail Sign

Wonderland Trail Sign

Sunset At Klapatche Park

Sunset At Klapatche Park

Alpine Glow From Klapatche Park

Alpine Glow From Klapatche Park

Klapatche Park to Devils Dream (7-18):

The trail up from Klapatche Park was mostly covered in snow. In fact there was snow for around another mile past St. Andrews Lake. Some minimal route finding was required as footprints had melted out since the last hikers had gone through. The climb out of South Puyallup River Camp to Emerald Ridge seemed to never end, but the view was stunning. The suspension bridge was… interesting. The best part though was running into Lee Jacobson (@onewhohikes) at Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground and getting to spend some time with a fellow hiker from twitter. He camped with us and hiked out with us on our final day.

Klapatche Park At Sunrise

Klapatche Park At Sunrise

St. Andrews Park Still Frozen

St. Andrews Park Still Frozen

Snow Covered Trail Above St. Andrews Lake

Snow Covered Trail Above St. Andrews Lake

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Mount Adams

Mount Hood

Mount Hood

South Fork Of The Puyallup Bridge

South Fork Of The Puyallup Bridge

Tahoma Glacier

Tahoma Glacier

Trail Up Emerald Ridge

Trail Up Emerald Ridge

On The Top Of Emerald Ridge

On The Top Of Emerald Ridge

View From Emerald Ridge

View From Emerald Ridge

Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge

Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge

On The Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge

On The Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge

On The Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge

On The Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge

Mount Rainier From Indian Henry's Hunting Ground

Mount Rainier From Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground

Indian Henry's Hunting Ground Ranger Station

Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground Ranger Station

Claw Marks On Tree

Claw Marks On Tree

Lee And Josh On The Trail To Mirror Lake

Lee And Josh On The Trail To Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

Falls On The Trail To Mirror Lake

Falls On The Trail To Mirror Lake

Devil's Dram Camp Sign

Devil’s Dram Camp Sign

Josh And Lee In Camp At Devils Dream

Josh And Lee In Camp At Devils Dream

 Devils Dream To Longmire (With Paradise Side Trip) (7-19):

We woke up in the morning and hiked out. The trail from Devil’s Dream to Longmire was in perfect condition except for some bugs. Sadly, The Mountain hid from us as we walked out. As soon as we got into Longmire though we could see it poking through the trees so we decided a “short” trip up to Paradise was in order. Naturally, The Mountain showed itself almost the whole way up, but from Paradise it was completely blocked by clouds. After getting a good laugh from Lee Jacobson (@onewhohikes) we said goodbye and walked around the visitor’s center for a few minutes and then headed back down the road. 1 mile from Paradise we were greeted with an amazing view of The Mountain in all it’s glory. A perfect ending to a great trip.

Fog Through The Trees

Fog Through The Trees

Devil's Dream Falls

Devil’s Dream Falls

Lee Crossing Kautz Creek

Lee Crossing Kautz Creek

Trail Climbing Out Of Kautz Creek

Trail Climbing Out Of Kautz Creek

Almost To Longmire

Almost To Longmire

First Road Crossing In 35 Miles

First Road Crossing In 35 Miles

Made It! Josh And Steve

Made It! Josh And Steve

Made It! Josh And Lee

Made It! Josh And Lee

Longmire Ranger Station

Longmire Ranger Station

Mount Rainier From Longmire

Mount Rainier From Longmire

Mount Rainier From Just Below Paradise

Mount Rainier From Just Below Paradise

4 thoughts on “Wonderland Trail – Westside – Mowich Lake to Longmire

  1. Pingback: Tahoma Creek Suspension Bridge at Mount Rainier National Park | Exotic Hikes Wilderness Experts

  2. Hi there! I know this is probably the most incredibly random request/query you’ve received, but I’m on a quest to visit all of the National Parks in the US (and take photos at the park signs) and I really like the sign you posted a photo of here. The other signs are kind of tricky to photograph with people in the photos, so I’m curious if you could give me an estimation of the location of this sign? I know, it’s a really weird request. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit on Google Street View trying to find it so I figured it was worth a shot to just ask you! Looks like a fabulous hike, I can’t wait to visit Rainier again when I can spend more than a day there. Cheers!

    Like

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