Mount Rainier National Park

The beauty of Mt. Rainier National Park will leave you speechless. Whether it's the alpine lakes, temperate rainforest full of ancient conifers, charismatic megafauna, redolent lupines and other wildflowers, active glaciers, wild berry picking, or the massive monolithic mountain itself, Mt. Rainier is simply awe-inspiring.

Mt. Rainier National Park awards only 5 commercial backpacking permits every year. Fitpacking has been awarded one of them, so this is one of your few chances to participate in a guided backpacking trip to this famed destination.

We will be hiking a less visited Eastern Loop that traverses sections of the famed Wonderland Trail on our 6-day hike, where we may encounter elk, deer, eagles, pikas, black bear, and marmots. Experience the timeless wonder of Mt. Rainier with us during the short, relatively dry and bug free temperate season.

See Seattle Times articles about the Wonderland Trail (Article 1, Article 2)

Itinerary

The Mt. Rainier National Park Fitpacking Trip will be from Aug 31 - Sep 7, 2013. Here is the proposed itinerary.

Our journey will begin at Ohanapecosh on the Southeast side of Mt. Rainier. We’ll quickly climb up to Ollalie Creek and head to the Wonderland Trail. We'll stay at Indian Bar Camp and then start Alpine hiking through snowfields to Summerland. We'll then head to White River, Glacier Basin and the summit of Burroughs Mountain at 7828' for vast, sweeping, unobstructed views.

Difficulty

Mt. Rainier is one of Fitpacking's more difficult, advanced, and rewarding trips. The terrain is actually well groomed and well maintained, however very little of it is level. Most days are spent either ascending or descending thousands of feet, sometimes both. And this trip traverses (non-technical) snowfields.

Weather

Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the 60s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s. However, be prepared for the possibility of overnight temperatures as low as the 20s. During the 2008 trip, we woke up to several inches of snow on September 1st. By the afternoon however, it had all melted and the next day, we were swimming in an alpine lake (not for very long though).

View 7 day weather forecast

Trip Leaders

Rick Romine lives in Pleasanton, CA and is a Wilderness Medicine Institute certified Wilderness First Responder. A life long outdoor enthusiast, Rick is the founder of the wilderness education site HowToWilderness.com. Rick has been leading backpacking treks and teaching outdoor skills to both youth and adults for over 10 years.

Krisdin (Threshold) Diehl lives in Portland, ME and thru-hiked the 2,178 mile Appalachian Trail in 2009 where she earned her trail name, "Threshold". In 2012, she thru-hiked the 2650 mile Pacific Crest Trail and plans to complete the Triple-Crown by thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail in 2014. She served as a Ridge Runner and Leave No Trace Ambassador with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club in the 100 Miles of Wilderness in 2010 & 2011.

Krisdin is a SOLO Certified Wilderness First Responder. and American Heart Association Certified in CPR. She has guided the Florida Trail Fitpacking trip.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. The list is extensive and can seem daunting, but please don't let this deter you from the trip. You can rent top notch quality gear for reasonable prices from Lower Gear or Outdoors Geek. It may also be possible for us to provide some gear for you at a nominal fee if you let us know far ahead of the trip. Unfortunately, we're not in the gear business so the selection of our available inventory is unpredictable. Please feel free to discuss any gear with us before the trip.

Menus

We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Backpacking is a rigorous, rewarding activity. You must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat often, so it's important to have fuel to feed it. Please check out the sample menus. This list is not comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. If you want to bring personal food, say a 5 pound chocolate cake, go for it. You'll not only hate carrying it over 40 miles through the wilderness, your body will reject the empty calories and prefer nutritious food.

Cost

$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Seattle / Sea-Tac (SEA), personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, Park entrance fees, National Park permits, insurance, satellite phone, and 2 awesome guides.

Note

Although a hotel stay is included for September 6th, people who live on the East Coast sometimes prefer to take a red-eye after the parting dinner that night. You are certainly welcome to do so. And yes, you will be able to take a shower at the hotel before you leave.