Wonderland Trail: Carbon River to Mystic Lake


Backpack - Wonderland Trail: Carbon River to Mystic Lake

Three day, one way shuttle trip from Sunrise to Carbon River, with off-trail campsites and extensive off-trail exploration. Camp on the wildside and see several usually unseen sections of the park.

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  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 35.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 6,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 8,000 ft
  • Pace: 2-2.5 MPH

7AM Friday at Auburn Park and Ride.  We will require a minimum of two cars that can hold 4 people to do the shuttle between trailheads.

This is not a usual backpack trip.  While we will be taking the Wonderland Trail (WT) from Sunrise to Carbon River, our reserved camping spots are in the x-country zones at Mineral Mountain (XMIN) (above Mystic Lake) and Moraine Park (XMOR).  These are off trail areas where you have to find your own spot and hence travel cross-country, off-trail. On Friday I anticipate, after finding and setting up camp, exploring Mineral Mountain. On Saturday, we will climb up Curtis Ridge on a boot path as far as safe and fun, and then proceed back to camp, pack-up and head back to WT to Moraine Park and then off-trail again to find a campsite in that zone.  Maybe explore around Pacific Point/Elysian Fields area in the evening. On Sunday we will explore around Old Desolate, then pack up, head back to the WT and down, down, down to Carbon River TH.  Microspikes, Trekking Poles and  a Bear Cannister or Ursack are required.      Leader Permission Required:  Please tell me about your recent experience of traveling off-trail and that your are comfortable with doing this each day.  Please tell me of your recent experience of carrying a full back up 3000' in a day (our first day) and your general conditioning for a 3 day trip.  Please let me know that you are comfortable with camping in a x-country zone and needing to search for a camp spot, not knowing exactly where we might sleep or how nice or flat it might be.  I need to know you are ready for this much more rugged trip.  Thanks  Rob. 

Note:  I will be away in the mountains, Wyoming 8/16-25 and in Canada over Labor Day Weekend and likely be unable to respond to permission request at these times.  I will honor and vet requested based on when they were submitted.


Wonderland Trail: Carbon River to Mystic Lake

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 Ursack
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Two Trekking Poles
  • Microspikes
Trip Reports