This is a trip that’s been on my list for some time (http://www.wonderlandtrailguide.com) and if you’re into a cool, beautiful, long hiking trip, I highly recommend it. There has been much speculation on other threads on weather hanging with a hammock is doable. But after getting the final confirmation here (http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ght=wonderland) my planning went full steam ahead. I’d like aso to thank Steve Burgess (http://williswall.com) for providing such detailed beta. His products are well woth the investment if you’re looking for info on this trail.
I went with a few friends, all ground dwellers and to be honest, I didn’t plan this one, but tagged along. A cool group of folks who I’ve camped out with before, and the evening and along the trail I had a great social group to visit and enjoy the scenery with.
Before going on the trip, I decided to plan my load out and came up with the lists below. I analyzed this list many times and shaved and tweaked it many times. I was very proud to have the final weights well below my usuals, and also proud to have the lightest load out I’ve personally ever carried. I was shocked to see everyone else’s packs. I had no desire to carry packs that big or heavy.
Big 3 wt.(oz)
ULA ohm 29
HG cuben fiber tarp in mesh bag, stakes, guy lines 13.5
Dangerbird Hammock 26
HG Summer weight top and 3/4 bottom quilt, in a single cuben fiber stuff sack 29
Long handle titanium spoon 0.4
15 esbit tablets 10
Esbit stove/pot/windscreen in cuben fiber bag 5.5
Sawyer Squeeze water filter and 2- 1 L water bottles 3
MSR clorine tablets 0.15
Squishy cup (8 oz) 1.7
cuben fiber food bag 0.85
Loksak 20x12.5” for garbage 0.5
cooking cozy 1.5
Luna Sandals 6
OR Helium II Rain jacket 6.4
Capaline long underwear 3
lukesultralight down vest and sleeves 5.35
Black Rock gear down beanie 1
Long sleeve Smartwool shirt 3
cuben Stuff sack for clothing 0.4
Wicking long shorts 5
Smartwool short sleeve shirt 2
1 pair Thorlo light hiking 2
Exofficio boxer underwear 3
Montrail Mountain Masochist 10.5
Toilet paper, package of 15 Wet Ones and trowel 6.5
2QzQ head net/stuff bag .7 oz
Thermarest Sit pad 3
Bath wipes 6
Carbon Fiber Komperdell trekking poles 5.8
Packtowel nano 0.6
ULA pack cover 3.4
First aid kit 8
Tooth brush and tooth powder 2
1 bottle of hand sanitizer 2.9
Petzyl Myo Head lamp 6.2
Rana neck knife 3.5
Sunglasses and case 5.5
Bug dope 1 oz bottle 1
Sunblock 1 oz bottle 1
$100 cash and ID 0.5
Map printed on waterproof paper 0.1
iPhone 5 headphones 5
Sticckpic, tripod, Camera and extra memory cards 10
Total (oz): 240.25
Total (lbs): 15.015625
Packit gourmet wt. (oz)
creamy italian polenta 3.2
Jamaica peanut porridge 2.7
Delta’s sweet rice pudding 5.6
2- Jumpstart smoothie 7.2
West Memphis grits soufflé 3.2
Santa Fe Breakfast Corn Pudding 3.5
All American Burger wrap 3.9
Kickin’ chicken wrap 3.4
Pizza margarita wrap 5.6
Poblano corn chowder 4.5
2- Ramen Rescue 8.2
2- Cajun Ranch chicken salad 15
Big Easy gumbo 4.2
Dottie’s chicken and dumplings 4.0
Chicken salad curried mango 7.5
Hot Coals pepperoni rolls 10.4
2- Lemon cheesecake with gingersnap crust 5.8
Pumpkin Cheesecake with gingersnap crust 5.8
3- freeze dried Mango chunks 4.5
2- Freeze dried sausage 4
3- Hazel Nut/chocolate butter packet (1.15oz ea) 3.45
3- Honey/Almond butter packet (1.5oz ea) 4.5
Package of rye crisps in 1 Qt. ziplock 4.9
package of small tortillas in 1 gallon ziplock 10
extreme sport beans 1
NUUN active hydration tablets 2.25
probar bolt energy chews 2.1
5- Hot cocoa packets 2.45
5- cappuccino packets 3
5- hot chai packets 5
5 dehydrated apples 5
8 peanut butter Poptarts 16
Weight total (oz) 171.85
Weight total (lbs) 10.740625
I rode my motorcycle behind the group to the trail head. It was a hour drive that started at about 7:00 am. We arrived at the Ranger station picking up our permits and hitting the trail. The group decided on a short first day, so we started at Frying Pan Creek trailhead, and walked 7 miles to Summerland Campground. The views were unbelievable. I’ve never been on this trail, and after just a few miles I have already decided that I’m going to repeat it again.
Everyone was intrigued by my set up, so a couple gave it a swing.
From that camp we had an increadible view of Mt. Rainier. That evening (about 3am) I woke up and watched the “parade of lights”, mountain climbers’ head lamps as they made their summit attempts in long lines visible from where I stood. That was very cool!
As we left to start our 13 mile day there were several marmots out on the trail to greet us. We saw a mountaingoat, and trekked to over the highest point on the trail, Panhandle gap. Then stopped to camp at Nickel Creek campground. The flowers were just amazing!
12 miles today, and the mushrooms this whole trip are not disappointing. It’s tough not to take a picture of every one. Also the berries are out and the hike is slowed by stopping to snack every few hundred feet. We spent the night at Paradise River campground. I usually had my rig up before anyone else, and the moment it was ready, I quickly took a load off.
This is the day I am really looking foreword to. Today is the day we get to meet up with my wife, who could join us for the start due to needing to take some academic tests. Longmire was the meeting place, but also, having a restaurant, a good place to rest and eat a nice sit down lunch. Crossed an amazing bridge. This trail is full of bridges, but this suspension bridge just blew my mind. Huge, and over a huge canyon. 8 miles was the total for the day and we finished the day at Devil’s Dream Campground. Everyday offered a different view of “the mountain”.
10 miles today. Awesome views and d wonderful full day on the trail with my wife. Even a frog, high in the mountains! We finished the day at Klapatchee Park.
We encountered snakes, salamanders, and more stunning views. After a 14 mile day we spent the night at South Mowich River campground where I had a cool creative hang off a huge fallen tree.
Clouds and light rain were the theme for this 10 mile day. We took the alternate Spray park route after stopping at Mowich lake. We deposited a food cache there. I didn’t leave anything and carried everything from the start. I think folks were thinking a bit with their stomaches! Pikas, giant slugs and a strange flower called Indian Pipe were my highlights. The group split up this night. My wife and I slept at Cataract Creek and the rest of the group went on to Carbon River campground.
The morning started early and my wife and I hiked to meet up with the rest of the group at Carbon river. There, we crossed another suspension bridge. We then moved right on down the trail on another soggy slog. Misty rain and fog somehow actually made the trail and views even more beautiful. We passed glaciers and streams and finished with a 12 mile day at Granite Creek campground. With the rain coming down, we still managed a good group meal. I pitched my tarp high and it helped to make the outdoor space more social.
Last day! We woke up and the sun was shining and the sky was blue! “The mountain” gave us a view, not to be soon forgotten. The morning weather did not hold and as the afternoon wore on, the clouds returned. We stopped at Sunrise and had a burger and ice-cream. What a cool trail, that allows such lavish breaks along the way! It was a good day to finish as the rain started to fall. 7 Miles completed the 93 mile circuit around Mt. Rainier.
If anyone were to ask, I’d rate this (up to this point in my life) as the most beautiful hike I’ve done.
I’m definitely coming back to do it again!