Around Mother Mountain


Backpack - Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek

An overnight backpacking trip from Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek Campground at Mt. Rainier National Park

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 13.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft

We will arrange carpools.  Otherwise, we will meet at the Mowich Lake Trailhead at 9am on Friday, September 1st.  I will need to stop at the  Carbon River Ranger Station to pick up the permit beforehand.  

From Buckley, follow State Route 165 (off of SR 410, from either Enumclaw or Sumner) south for 10.3 miles, bearing right on the road to Mowich Lake.  Continue another 11 miles to the national park boundary.  Proceed 5.8 miles farther, passing the entrance station, to the road's end at Mowich Lake.  

Let's explore this scenic portion of the Wonderland trail together.  This will be a relaxed pace trip (slow) with plenty of breaks and stops for photos along the way.  

On day 1, we will start with a side trip to Eunice Lake and Tolmie Peak (2.7 miles & 1,010 feet of elevation gain).  From there, we will hike to Ipsut Creek Campground via Ipsut Pass (5.6 miles & 3,539 feet elevation loss).  We will have plenty of time to set up camp and perhaps explore Ipsut Falls.  

Ipsut Creek Campground is equipped with bear boxes, a firepit, and a picnic table at each site.  However, fires are not allowed as it is now considered a backcountry site. There are toilets available. 

On day 2, we will break camp and hike back to the trailhead (4.6 miles & 2,329 ft of elevation gain). 

Because of the popularity of Mowich Lake, Spray Park, and Tolmie Peak, parking may be a challenge.  Let's be sure to carpool if we can.  

National Park Entrance Fee Required 

Cost of the trip will be $5 per camper to cover the cost of the permit.  



Around Mother Mountain

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
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
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