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Diana Vann
(DianaV) - MLife

Locale: Wandering
Considering the Wonderland Trail on 08/13/2011 16:18:02 MDT Print View

I just spoke with an employee at one of the ranger stations who told me that though there is still snow on the Wonderland Trail, people are making it through without an ice axe. He also said that about half of the people who had reservations to hike the trail are not showing up because of the snow levels.

My hiking trip that was supposed start next weekend got rescheduled to late in September because of snow, so I'm toying with the idea of hiking the Wonderland Trail on standby.

Information on trails and backcountry camp conditions is listed at this website , but I'm looking for additional information if possible.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Considering the Wonderland Trail on 08/13/2011 18:07:23 MDT Print View

Hi Diana,
I just got back from five days in Rainier NP (will post trip report in a couple days, after I get caught up on some other things). I hiked Northern Loop + Mother Mountain Loop + the three Burroughs. Plenty of snow across Windy Gap (not on WT) and on the Spray Park alternate route that many people take on WT (I did, when I hiked the WT several years ago). No need for axe, although north side of First Burroughs was a little hairy. A little routefinding across Windy Gap, and would have been across Seattle and Spray Parks, but there was good boot print there. Not too much traffic--getting on the trail before 7am, I usually could go all morning without seeing anyone. Talked to two solo hikers and a couple who were about to finish the WT--no real problems reported.

My starting weight was ~15#, wore Inov8 295s, and used poles. Every other hiker I saw was traditional, with boots and big backpacks.

Snow is melting fast. Bugs are bad in places.

Here's pics of a trail sign in Berkeley Park, from 4 Aug when I started, and 7 Aug when I was back at Sunrise:

sign1
sign2

Diana Vann
(DianaV) - MLife

Locale: Wandering
Re: Considering the Wonderland Trail on 08/14/2011 11:57:36 MDT Print View

David,

Thanks for the quick response. Based on your post and on the information the ranger gave me, I will probably decide to go for it. If so, I may leave within a few days. Perhaps your trip report will be posted by then.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Considering the Wonderland Trail on 08/14/2011 14:18:36 MDT Print View

I'm sure you'll have a great time. Based on my experience last week, it's probably a rare opportunity to hike the WT with a minimum number of other people on the trail. And even though there was plenty of snow, I had nice weather all five days (some fog on days 3-4, but no precip). Temps were comfortable, with coldest night (Dick Creek camp) maybe a hair below 40*.

Have a good hike.

Edited by DavidDrake on 08/14/2011 17:58:02 MDT.