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
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269SX

Upcoming Activities

Intro to Trail Running: Backcountry Field Trip - Around Mother Mountain

Trail Running Field trip: Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry
A field trip to a backcountry location to reinforce what you have learned and evaluate
Difficulty: Very Strenuous, Strenuous
Sat, Aug 15, 2020
No Prerequisites
10 participants 0 instructors
Registration opens Feb 15; Instructor registration open now
Foothills Branch
Trip Reports

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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