Mount Rainier National Park, Washington – Wonderland Trail to Summerland

Summerland doesn’t quite look like summer yet, but it will soon. the snow is still hanging on the trails, but as you can see the flowers are getting ready to pop along the sides of the trail.

The hike to Summerland was pretty easy so we decided to continue along the Wonderland Trail towards Panhandle Gap at 9,000 feet, just to see what was on the other side of the gap. We were pretty sure the snowfields would be too steep to get there, but there was still lots of hiking we could do until then.

Wonderland Trail above Summerland.

After the park called Summerland the whole area opens up, free of the forest, and into the open bowls of the upper mountain. Most of this terrain is still snow covered, but the warm spring sunshine has made the snow soft and easy to traverse. The Wonderland Trail in this area was mostly snow covered, but we could find enough of it to stay on track.

A herd of 41 Mountain Goats crossed the snowfield above us.

Shortly after reaching the top of the Summerland area and heading up into the snow fields we passed a large open bowl.

Temperatures were in the upper 70s, the hiking was great, and we made up into the last bowl below Panhandle Gap before the terrain got too steep to continue.

Way too steep.

Panhandle Gap is around that last corner in the upper center of the picture. We made it to where you can see other hikers at the left.

This is about as steep as we felt we could safely handle with the equipment we had with us.

The side edge of Emmons Glacier’s accretion zone, from above Summerland.

A Hoary Marmot – Sunbathing.

Anemones just starting to open.


One response »

  1. Awesome as always. The mountains of NH are going to look pretty tame after Rainier.

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Sharing our love of America's Natural Wonders


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