Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park

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Hiking Trail Nature / Park
The Wonderland Trail is an approximately 93 mile hiking trail that circumnavigates Mount Rainier in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, United States. The trail goes over many ridges of Mount Rainier for a cumulative of elevation gain. The trail was built in 1915. In 1981, it was designated a National Recreation Trail. An estimated 200 to 250 people a year complete the entire trail with several thousand others doing shorter sections of it. The average time taken to complete the entire trip is 10 to 14 days.The TrailThe trail is entirely within the national park and passes through major life zones of the park, from lowland forests to subalpine meadows of wildflowers. As the trail circles the mountain, hikers see different faces of Mount Rainier, carved by 25 named glaciers.The trail is considered strenuous as it is almost always climbing or descending the ridges around the mountain. The highest point is 6,750ft at Panhandle Gap.There are many river crossings on the trail including two suspension bridges. Many of the rivers are crossed on primitive log bridges which can wash away during heavy rain or when there is a lot of snow melt in the rivers. Most of the bridges washed away during a major storm in November 2006, so the trail was impassable (and closed) to hikers through most of 2007.
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Where to stay in Mount Rainier National Park

You could visit Mount Rainier National Park on a day trip from Seattle, but you'll probably want to stay in or closer to the park to maximize your time there. The park provides three developed campgrounds and one primitive one with nearly 500 individual sites between them. For extra creature comforts, book a room at either the National Park Inn or the larger Paradise Inn. Many park visitors lay their heads in the villages west of the park along National Park Highway. Places such as Jasper, Mineral Lake, and Alder Lake offer a mix of lodges, inns, and bed and breakfasts, almost all of which deliver full views of towering Mount Rainier. You might also find reasonable summer deals on hotels at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort just north of the park, though this is a less convenient option.
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  • I start it at Longmire and finished this trail in 9 days. It was a hard hike because elevation change all the time. I'll be happy to do that again but not all. 1/3 of the trail is in wood. The best pa...  more »
  • Loved the mountains, surroundings! You can see some small wildlife like birds, chipmunks. Great view on the lake near you! Trails are signed, so you don't need a map! ( ABOUT 5 MILES ROUNDTRIP) On the...  more »
  • This is an outstanding rugged and scenic hike that shows dramatic views of Mt Rainier and the volcanic environment of the Pacific Northwest. Established camp sites are arranged around the mountain and...  more »