Backpack - Ipsut Creek Camp


Backpack - Ipsut Creek Camp

Easy trip to Rainier NP for those wanting to gain experience

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  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 600 ft

 South Renton P&R at 7:30am.  (This P&R allows 72 hour parking, so leaving cars there for an overnight trip is OK.)

Easy single-night backpack trip to the group site at Ipsut Creek campground a few miles inside the Carbon River entrance of Mt. Rainier National Park. Though this trip does not offer instruction, it is intended for beginners or others with a minimum of recent experience who want the opportunity to try out their overnight gear and technique in an environment where it is "OK to be a new at this". Participants are expected to be self-sufficient in terms of gear, food, and other preparation, but are not required to be experienced.  The co-leaders are both experienced backpackers who are setting up this trip with the expectation that we will answer questions and help out with a few things now and then over the course of the weekend.

The Ipsut Creek campground used to be a drive-up car campground until the Carbon River Road was permanently closed after it washed out in 2006.  The campground still has some amenities from its car-camping days including picnic tables, outhouses, bear boxes, etc., making it one of the better-appointed backcountry campsites one is likely to see. The route from the trailhead to the campground is along what used to be the Carbon River Road, making the hike in and out relatively easy as well.  The route closely follows the glacier-fed Carbon River making it a scenic and pleasant walk, in spite of having the word "road" in its name.

The pace will be easy-moderate, with a tentative goal of completing the five mile walk in about 3 hours.  Even though this is an easy rated hike by Club standards, we will still be walking five miles each day while carrying overnight packs, which requires that participants be in good condition.


Carbon River Road

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Extra stuff sack or other container to food and other items that will be stored in bear boxes.
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Trash bag or other container for carrying out trash.
Trip Reports