The Wonderland trail surrounds Mount Rainier and was originally created for the Rangers to patrol the park. The trail is 93 miles long and you can hike it if you want. It takes about 10 days and has a net elevation gain of zero with an accumulated elevation gain of 35,000 feet up and 35,000 feet down. From the White River Campground at 4,400 feet to Sunrise at 6,400 feet is 3.1 miles via the Wonderland Trail.
It’s tempting to think we might some day climb this mountain, but truthfully this is way too much mountain for us. Climbing Mount Rainier requires months of preparation and training in the use of ice climbing gear and ropes, plus a level of conditioning that I’m not sure we could reach. Of the 10,000 climbers who attempt Mount Rainier each summer more than half turn away due to weather, inability to adapt to the altitude, or sheer exhaustion. We met many climbers coming down from the summit, and while all were euphoric, all were utterly spent. We’re going to enjoy our time here, see as much of the mountain as we can, and leave the summit to others.