CHS 1 Hike - Summerland & Panhandle Gap

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 1 Hike - Summerland & Panhandle Gap

Participants must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Hike through dark forest to flower-filled alpine meadows to Summerland and then through a rocky moraine to Panhandle Gap on the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. Enjoy views of Goat Mountain, Fryingpan Glacier, Little Tahoma and Mount Rainier. CHS 1 hike led at a pace of 1.5-2.0 mph. One of my all time favorites!

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 12.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,950 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0 mph

Plan is to meet at the Summerland Trailhead at 7:45 AM.  The trailhead is 2.9 miles pass the White River Ranger Station park entrance on the left, just pass the bridge over Fryingpan Creek.  There is paved parking for 25 cars on the right and overflow parking is along either side of the road.  Driver's need a suitable National Park Pass.  Suggested meeting places for those interested in car pooling will be sent in the Hello Hiker Letter.

As of July 20, the Park Service has put the portable bridge up across the stream crossing out of Summerland on the way to Panhandle Gap.   The trail from Summerland to Panhandle Gap  may also have several snow patches to cross so traction devices (microspikes or equivalent) and hiking poles may be recommended or required.  However, typically by the second week of August, the snow patches have either melted or are quite small.  Updates on conditions based on trip reports will be  put on this website and in the Hello  Hiker letter.

Please note that all participants must be fully vaccinated and agree to the Mountaineers Code of Conduct, which may be found here:


Summerland & Panhandle Gap

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
Trip Reports