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Spray Park Loop

Difficult
 4.9 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful loop north of Mt. Rainier.


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Map Key

15.9

Miles

25.7

KM

74%

Runnable

6,364' 1,940 m

High

2,474' 754 m

Low

4,688' 1,429 m

Up

4,688' 1,429 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

52%

Max Grade (28°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

National Park Pass Required at Trailhead.

Overview

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 National Park 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.

Runner Notes

  • 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.

Description

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 again.

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Vaibhav Shukla with improvements by Stephen M and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 8 votes

#722

Overall
  4.9 from 8 votes
5 Star
88%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
0%
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#53

in Washington

#722

Overall
30 Views Last Month
2,548 Since Aug 31, 2018
Difficult

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57%
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Photos

Great Sunrise on Mt. Rainier from the approach trail
Jul 22, 2018 near Eatonville, WA
Mount Rainier from Tolmie Peak Lookout
Feb 26, 2015 near Buckley, WA
The eponymous Mt. Rainier.
Feb 26, 2015 near Eatonville, WA
Stunning reflection on the very still Mowich Lake as the sun rises alongside the Wonderland Trail.
Aug 16, 2016 near Buckley, WA
View of Mt Rainier from Spray Park
Sep 7, 2018 near Eatonville, WA
Mt. Rainier after a long dry summer.
Nov 11, 2016 near Eatonville, WA

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Check-Ins

Jul 14, 2019
Stephen M
Such a great way to spend a day! The descent through the meadows out of Spray Park is a joy. 16.1mi — 4h 28m
Sep 1, 2018
Jason Santos
Beautiful, runnable trail. The slog back up to Ipsut Pass is a chore, but you likely won't see many people on that part. 24.2mi — 5h 58m
Aug 18, 2018
Vaibhav Shukla
15.8mi