The Wonderland Trail
Last month, I was fortunate enough to join Crew My Run and some friends for a 3 day running trip around Mt. Rainier in Washington on the Wonderland Trail. What is Wonderland Trail you ask? I had that same question just a few week prior to the trip and it did not take much research for me to realize this was a trip that I had to find a way to make. Its a beautiful place and some of the best trails I have ever had the pleasure of running. Hopefully this gets you inspired to get out and join us next year!
The Wonderland Trail is a continuous trail system that “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”
And from one of my favorite stores, REI “The famous Wonderland Trail, which completely circles Mount Rainier, is not only the finest long hike in Washington; it is considered by many to be one of the best in the world. The route provides a generous sampling of all the attractions in the Cascade Range including meadows choked with wildflowers, abundant and varied wildlife, old-growth forests, huge glaciers, impressive waterfalls, and scenic lakes. What will leave an indelible impression on your mind, however, are the ever-changing spectacular views of Mount Rainier, the Monarch of the Cascades. This monster volcano with its mantle of ice presents a multitude of faces, all of them beautiful.” Yes, Please!!!
After I realized the amount of singletrack, ecosystems, wildflowers and elevation we would cover it was a no brainer to book my flight and join my friends Josh and Matt on this adventure. The rest of the trip was completely taken care of by Crew My Run! Josh and I flew out after a work conference I had in Long Beach on a Thursday and Matt picked us up from the airport with the rest of the crew and drove us out to our starting spot at Mowich Lake Campground.
Every morning we had a killer breakfast, gourmet dinners, some aid along the way on day 2 and our tents and camp was setup for us to take a shower and just tell stories by the fire by the time we got back. Deluxe! All we had to do is run…and run we did!
Our route for the three days ran clockwise and covered
Mowich Lake past Carbon Glacier to White River Campground on Day 1
White River up over Fryingpan Gap and through RedBox to Cougar Campground on Day 2
Cougar Campground, through Longmire and back up to Mowich on Day 3
I have some detailed notes that I wanted to get out about our journey around the peak so i will update this post as I get things settled down at work. For now here are some pics and a video I put together.