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Sunrise to Carbon River Traverse

Mount Rainier Area > NE - Sunrise/White River
46.9145, -121.6417 Map & Directions
13.7 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain
5,200 feet
Highest Point
6,700 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty

The road to Sunrise is closed for the season.

A rocky section of trail looking up toward Mount Rainier. Photo by Joey Smith. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Ridges/passes
  • Established campsites
  • Mountain views
  • Waterfalls
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
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A section of the scenic Wonderland Trail, enjoy views of Mount Rainier and the Carbon Glacier, numerous creek crossings, and meadows as you connect between Sunrise and the Carbon River. Continue reading

4.00 out of 5

Hiking Sunrise to Carbon River Traverse

Enjoy unparalleled views of everything Mount Rainier has to offer as you connect between two camps on the scenic Wonderland Trail. The Winthrop and Carbon Glaciers are prominent as you pass through alpine meadows and cross numerous creeks. Stop at Frozen or Mystic Lakes as you make your way around the north side of the mountain.

Begin your trek from Sunrise Camp and head West. Immediately climb Sourdough Ridge to the junction at Frozen Lake at 6700'. Here, Mount Fremont is prominent to your right, and there is a small, 2.6 round-trip detour to a lookout there. Once you've taken in the view, continue down the Wonderland Trail towards Berkeley Park.

Past Berkeley Park, descend into the Granite Creek camp and pass over Granite Creek. Along this portion of the trail, the views are stunning in all directions. Be sure to notice Grand Park to the northeast. Once at Granite Creek, wave at other hikers doing the Wonderland Trail as you pass through camp, and continue towards Winthrop Creek. There is a bridge over Winthrop Creek, and be sure to stay on it as there is no other safe crossing, especially when the water is flowing strongly.

Once over the creek, climb quickly up to Mystic Lake. Pass through Mystic Camp, with Mineral Mountain on the left and Old Desolate on the right. Climb over a false summit which serves as the divide between the Carbon River and the White River. From here, descend gradually through meadows as you walk along Moraine Creek above the Carbon Glacier.

Just before reaching Dick Creek camp, quickly descend through a series of switchbacks. For the rest of the trail, it is a relatively flat traverse to the Carbon River camp. Cross over the river on a suspension bridge. Stop at the Carbon Glacier viewpoint to admire the effect the ice has had on the landscape. Just across the bridge, reach Carbon River camp and the end of this section of the Wonderland Trail.

Hike Description Written by
McKenzie Carlson, WTA Correspondent

Sunrise to Carbon River Traverse

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.9145, -121.6417 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

The road to Sunrise is closed for the season.

See weather forecast

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Start from the Sunrise Visitor Center. From Seattle, drive on I-5 South towards Enumclaw. Take Exit 142B onto State Route 18 E. Take SR 18 to SR 164 E, then to SR 410 E towards Mount Rainier. Take the exit onto Sunrise Road and enter the park through the White Canyon Entrance. Continue down Sunrise road, and keep right at the White River Road to reach Sunrise.

More Hike Details


Mount Rainier Area > NE - Sunrise/White River

Mount Rainier National Park

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Sunrise to Carbon River Traverse

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