Wonderland Trail: 95 Miles Total Elevation Gain: 23,810’
At 14,410’ Mt. Rainier rises up from lowland valleys in an immense display of rock, ice, and majestic beauty. Circumnavigating the mountain’s glaciated flanks lies the Wonderland Trail. This humble yet inspiring path weaves through ancient forests, flows through flower filled meadows, and climbs the many steep ridges cut from the mountains powerful systems of fire and ice. To travel this trail is to experience the many faces, ecosystems, beauty, and savagery of the mountain.
Wednesday, Day 1: Meet in Ashford WA
We meet runners at 5pm at Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford WA. This is a great place to purchase or rent any last minute gear. We spend the first night at Big Creek Campground, just outside of the park. Aspire serves and evening meal and we go over routes, risk management, and gear in preparation for the run.
Thursday, Day 2: Longmire to Mowich Lake: 34 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +9,755/-7,600
We make this day an early start, its big. Runners generally complete this day in 10-12 hours, but the spread has been as wide as 9-17 hours. 5 big climbs, river crossings, lake swimming, old growth forests, high meadows, and big views await. As will all your gear and plenty of hot food, showers, and beer at Mowich Campground.
Friday, Day 2: Mowich Lake to White River, 28 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +7,871’ / -7,900’
This is the “light” day of the trip. From Mowich Lake we send runners on the Spray Park section of the Wonderland. Why? Because big waterfalls, alpine meadows, and ridge lines that touch glaciers are amazing. The magic continues along the Carbon Glacier, Winthrop Glacier, Skyscraper Pass, and Berkley Park, before the trail leads directly into the White River Campground.
Saturday, Day 2: White River to Longmire, 32 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +6,184 / -7,610’
Some how it’s possible for each day of this trip to get better. The trek through Summerland and over Panhandle Gap, into Indian Bar, and up the Cowlitz Divide easily competes for some of the best trail miles on the planet. 20 miles into the the Wonderland Trail crosses pavement at Box Canyon. Here we have an aid station and a 3:00 cutoff for runners making the final climb to Reflection Lakes, from which it is almost literally “all down hill”. Once in Longmire we have dinner and drinks. We celebrate, we congratulate, and eventually say our goodbyes.
This trip begins and ends in Longmire WA. We meet runners in Ashford WA just outside of the park on Wednesday evening. We also provide a shuttle to and from SeaTac airport on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday evening, this shuttle is NOT included in the course fee. All those booking flights should plan to fly home on Sunday. Runners who drive personal vehicle leave their cars in the backpackers parking lot in Longmire WA.
Our basecamp will be at a different drive in campground each night. Aspire will provide lively camp amenities for a remote but comfortable “glamp” style experience. Runners will need to provide or rent a personal tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc.
Course Info Packet
For details about the trail, itinerary information, packing and gear lists, menu and dietary information, safety protocols, and trip policies please check out the Wonderland Course Packet available on our website: www.AspireAdventureRunning.com
Aspire Adventure Running
Aspire organizes single and multi-day running adventures in backcountry and wilderness terrain. We pair logistical and emergency support with delicious meals for a unique and memorable running experience. More info about our project is available at: www.AspireAdventureRunning.com
Aspire Adventure Running holds a commercial use authorization with Mt. Rainier National Park to offer guided and supported trail running within the park. This permit give us flexibility in our course dates, but limits our group sizes. Contact us to design a supported run of the Wonderland Trail for you and your running group.
Local time: 5:15 PM