We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. -- Finis Mitchell

Wonderland Trail permits

Many of you know that Jeff and I applied for permits to backpack the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier.

Well, I forgot to tell you readers last week that we got our approval notice! I am pretty excited as this is not the easiest permit to obtain. We planned our route and sent in the application on March 15. That is the first day you could send them in. The rangers started reviewing the applications and granting permits to hikers on April 1. The trail is red line in the picture above.

And I'm so happy that we got our permit.

Here's what our trip looks like:

Aug. 7- Mowich Lake Camp
Aug. 8- Dick Creek Camp
Aug. 9- Sunrise Walk-in Camp
Aug. 10- Summerland Camp
Aug. 11- Maple Creek Camp
Aug. 12- Pyramid Creek Camp
Aug. 13- Klapatche Park Camp
Aug. 14- Golden Lakes Camp
Aug. 15-Mowich Lake Trailhead and out of the wild.

Check out a profile map of the trial here.

The map shows all of the elevation gains along the trail. It certainly isn't flat. That's why we have been training.

Here's what Mount Rainier National Park says about the trail:

The Wonderland Trail (WT) is 93 miles (150kms) long and encircles Mt. Rainier. It is a strenuous hike with lots of elevation gain and loss, through lowland forests and valleys and into high alpine and sub-alpine areas.

Perhaps the biggest aspect in planning to hike the Wonderland Trail is you knowing your hiking skills, abilities and habits. Rangers cannot tell you that. Nobody knows your skill level better than you. This is important when laying the foundation for your trip... selecting the proper distance between campsites. Do you live and hike primarily in mountainous terrain and climates, or lower elevation areas? Hiking on flat terrain for 93 miles is far easier than having to climb up three thousand feet with a full pack day, after day, after day. This sounds like something that should not have to be stated, but we often see hikers going beyond their skill level. This usually leads to injury, illness, misery and an early end to a long-planned trip.

Our longest day is about 15-16 miles. So not too bad, expessially with all our training.

Oh, and we'll be documenting our whole trip like we do with the training hikes. So keep watching for those.

And if the weather is nice this afternoon, we'll be going on another training hike with a video.

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