Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
A NW Forest Pass required at the trailhead.
This loop follows mostly singletrack trails with a soft running surface. What makes it special? Here's what:
1. Eagle Cliff Viewpoint: An awesome view of Mt. Rainier.
2. Spray Falls
3. Spray Park
: Filled with wildflowers and provides unobstructed views of Mt. Rainier for about 2 miles.
4. Suspension Bridge Crossing: An amazing experience of crossing a suspension bridge over the Carbon River.
5. Numerous waterfalls on the climb up along Wonderland Trail
6. Mowich Lake itself.
Need to Know
A NW Forest Pass is required at the trailhead. The trailhead has one public restroom. Because you run a portion of the Wonderland Trail
you'll meet lots of interesting people with big backpacks on their multi-day hikes.
- This is a well maintained trail as portions of it runs along the popular Wonderland Trail.
- None of the section contain steep grades so a normal trail runner with decent traction should work all the way.
- There is an abundance of water in lake/river/creeks/waterfalls due to very close proximity to glaciers.
The loop starts at the beautiful Mowich Lake by following the Spray Park
Trail. On the way, you get an awesome view of Mt. Rainier from the Eagle Cliff Viewpoint. The loop goes slightly to the right and follows Spray Falls Spur
for 0.1 miles to the magical Spray Falls
From Spray Falls
, retrace your steps back to the Spray Park
Trail which starts climbing up to Spray Park
itself. Once at the park which is filled with wildflowers in season, you'll enjoy an unobstructed view of Mt. Rainier for about 2 miles. The trail then becomes Seattle Park Trail, and you start a long, 7 mile and ~4000 ft descent.
The trail then joins the Wonderland Trail
where you take a right and cross a suspension bridge over the Carbon River. Once across the bridge, the Wonderland Trail
meets the Northern Loop
trail where you take a left and continue 1 mile. After 1 mile, take a left to another trail and cross the Carbon River again over a log bridge crossing to join the Wonderland Trail
Then you start climbing again for 3-4 miles through the woods, with numerous waterfalls on the way. Close to the Ipsut Pass, you'll get a beautiful view of the valley behind you.
After Ipsut Pass, the trail descends all the way back to the Mowich Lake with about 0.5 miles along the lake.
Flora & Fauna
Typical Pacific Northwest forest with Spray Park
meadows blooming with numerous wildflowers during summer months. You might encounter mountain goats and bears.