Trail Description Carbon Glacier Moraine Park Distance, round-trip: 7 miles 11 miles Elevation gain: 1200 feet 3300 feet Hiking time, round-trip: 3 hours 7 hours Wilderness camps: Yes Yes The first three miles of the Wonderland Trail toward Moraine Park maintains a gentle uphill grade as it parallels the Carbon River. Soon after meeting the trail to Seattle Park, the Wonderland Trail crosses the river on a suspension bridge just below the snout of the Carbon Glacier. A right turn when the Wonderland Trail meets the Northern Loop (after crossing the bridge) will lead hikers to the glacier and up a steep series of switchbacks through the forest to Moraine Park.
Along the Trail This hike offers a close-up view of the lowest glacier in elevation in the contiguous 48 states and the source of the Carbon River. Do not approach the glacier as rock and ice fall are common! In mid-summer, Moraine Park presents a colorful array of wildflowers and outstanding views of Mount Rainier. Trailhead Location The trailhead is located at the road end at Ipsut Creek Campground, five miles inside the northwest entrance to the park at Carbon River. Backpacking Three camps are located along this section of trail at distances of 2.9 miles (Carbon River), 4 miles (Dick Creek), and 7.8 miles (Mystic Lake) from the trailhead. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from Wilderness Information Centers, Ranger Stations, and Visitor Centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.