Around Mother Mountain

This scenic loop in the northwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park is great as a moderate backpack or a challenging day hike or trail run from Mowich Lake. An out-and-back trip to Ipsut Creek Campground and the Caron River is shorter option.

getting there

Drive SR 165 through Carbonado and the Mount Rainier National Park Entrance to the campground and trailhead at Mowich Lake (4,930 ft).

on the trail

around mother mountain

Hike north from Mowich Lake to Ipsut Pass and then descend steeply to Ipsut Creek Campground. Leave the Wonderland Trail behind at Carbon River Camp, then back up to Seattle Park and Spray Park. Descend once again on the Spray Park Trail and take the short side trip to Spray Falls if time allows before returning to Mowich Lake.

ipsut creek & carbon river

For a shorter day hike or backpack, hike north from Mowich Lake to Ipsut Pass and then descend steeply to Ipsut Creek Campground. Turn around or camp here. It's 11 miles round trip with 2,800 feet of elevation gain. Continue on long the Carbon River toward the snout of the Carbon Glacier for up to an added 6 miles round trip and 600 feet of elevation gain.

  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Day Hiking, Trail Running
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Very Strenuous, Strenuous
  • Length: 16.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,375 ft
  • 6,350 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
    Mount Rainier Wilderness
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Default Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
Map
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269S
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269
  • Red Marker
    46.932976, -121.864053
    46.9329756058 -121.864053011
  • Red Marker
    46.961538, -121.798768
    46.9615378415 -121.798768044
 
Activities

Upcoming Activities

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Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Mowich Lake to Ipsut Creek
  • Mowich Lake to Carbon River
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