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wunderland trail

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so i'm going to have 2 weeks off in the 2nd half of july, no work, no dogs, no wife, i'm pretty stoaked.


I've always wanted to hike the wonderland trail or possibly hike all around Olympic NP (either Norht South, or East West or both)


I'm wondering if any of the fine folks here have done the wonderland and might have suggestions.




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I've done the Wonderland trail 4 times and have done the E - W trip across the Olympic NP once (though I was just 12 years old when I did the Olympic NP trip). Both are great trips. I did the Wonderland Trail trips before they had the registration & permit system in place though (just show up and go), so my advice is call MRNP and find out about this NOW - I don't know how long in advance you have to register & reserve camps, if it's days, months or years, but I do know that they limit the number of permits and/or reservations.


In case you don't know how to use the internet to find these things out yourself, here's the official Wonderland Trail information page:



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Mike, is the trail crowded in September? The mountains empty out after labor day, I am assuming this is true for the Wonderland as well.

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here's a few thoughts on the wonderland.


1. it's an EXTREMELY popular trail... backpacker magazine (and other magazines) seems to feature the trail regularly. therefore, get your permit reservation now!

2. if you'd like to save time and hit the best spots, i recommend that you forget the "southern" section of the trail. that section travels from longmire to maple creek, via paradise and stevens canyon. to me, it's the least scenic and most populated section of the trail.

3. place (send) food caches at mowich lake and sunrise.

4. here are some of my favorite places in which to stay. klapatchee park, golden lakes, mystic lake, sunrise walk in camp, and indian bar.


regarding the olympics... since there are a myriad of great trails to hike and an infinite number of possible combos, i'll simply list a few places that i've visited and revisited... these spots are all winners!!


the enchanted valley,

lost pass, grand pass, cameron pass,

grand and moose lakes,

hart, lacross and marmot lake's (near oneil pass),

the low divide and the skyline trail,

deer park, grand ridge, cedar lake (ie, the ne section of the park)

first divide and home sweet home,

and my personal favorite, slightly obscured, destined to never be popular area, sundown pass and sundown lake.


there are many, many more great areas in the olympics, but if you can link a hike with a few of these destinations, you'll be quite pleased.


good luck


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I hiked the Wonderland 4 years ago and it ranks as my #1 vacation ever, and that says a lot! I went in early August, but the flowers should be even better during the time you're planning on going. Getting a permit wasn't a problem - we got them the day before we began hiking. The camp spots on the trail are on a first-come,first-serve basis, but those were nowhere near full either. I don't know how much things have changed in the last 4 years. We started at Paradise and the very nice rangers at Sunrise let us stash some food there so we didn't have to schlep the whole wad. Have fun!

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thanks for all the input, specially Mike, what a guy!


I realize that the trail won't provide me with endless amounts of solitude, but its just one of those 'classics' that I feel a need to do.


I faxed in my reservation request this morning so we'll see what happens. I like the idea of skipping the south end of the trail... i suppose that is in a way cheating, but we'll see how things work out.


one other question for mike... when you have your permit, are rangers pretty strict for one sticking to the planned itinerary? say if I decided to turbo hike one day, skip a camp and stay at another for 2 nites or something. I know grand canyon basically cuts off one's balls if you do something like that, but know the policies differ from park to park.


thanks again y'alls for the hiker beta.



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