Trip Narative and Itinerary

The plan was to walk all of the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park but the weather changed our plans.  Jennifer had applied for and received a permit for the trip and I was allowed to tag along- we were introduced by a mutual friend. Jennifer and I started at Mowich Lake on an overcast afternoon and had a delightful hike over Knapsack Pass to Spray Park and then down through Seattle Park to the Cataract Valley Camp. Rain started the next morning and stayed with us all day as we made our way down to the Carbon River and then up and over Moraine Park to Mystic Lake. The third day saw improving weather as we worked our way down to the snout of the Winthrop Glacier and then up to Skyscraper Pass and on to the White River Campground where we were joined by Bert and Joanne. Day four was a short climb up to Summerland where we spent a star-filled night. Sunday was a glorious day of high-country travel over Panhandle Gap and then down to Indian Bar followed by a long walk down the Cowlitz Divide to Nickle Creek. Monday was an interesting walk up Stevens Canyon to Reflection Lake where we said goodbye to Bert and Joanne before descending to Paradise River Camp.  Tuesday saw a short walk down to Longmire and a very discouraging weather report- two days of heavy rain so we decided to leave the trail. We missed some of the most spectacular scenery at Indian Henry's Hunting Grounds, Emerald Ridge and Klapatche Park but walking through these areas just to say we had done it was not consistent with the spirit of the trip.   Despite the disappointment of not finishing the trip as planned, the hike was fantastic combination of amazing scenery and new friendships.

Wednesday, 17 September:  Cataract Valley 6.5 miles, 1,6040 feet up, 1,960 feet down

Thursday, 18 September:  Mystic Lake 6.5 miles, 2,880' up, 1,900' down

Friday, 19 September:  White River 12.7 miles, 2,840' up, 3,940' down

Saturday, 20 September:  Summerland 6.7 miles, 2,420' up, 780' down

Sunday, 21 September:  Nickle Creek 10.9 miles, 2,400' up, 4,780' down

Monday, 22 September: Paradise River 11.0 miles, 2480' up, 2,240' down

Tuesday, 23 September 23, 2014: Longmire 4.0 miles, 1,080' up, 80' down

Total = 58.3 miles / 93 miles (63% of the trail), 15,760 feet up, 15,670 feet  down