Wonderland Circumnavigation

93 Miles, 3-Day Stage

Woooh Baby! It’s commitment time. We’ve seen steady steady interest in our Wonderland Circumnavigation for the past 4 years. Last year we sold out 3 trips early in the year. This year we are psyched to announce 5 weeks of trips! Chances are high that all these trips will SELL OUT. If this trip is on your list, you would be wise to register today

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  • Wednesday through Sunday — July 31 to August 4, 2019
  • Wednesday through Sunday — August 7 to August 10, 2019
  • Wednesday through Sunday — August 14 to August 17, 2019. An ALL WOMENS WONDERLAND Trip!
  • Wednesday through Sunday — August 21 to August 24, 2019
  • Wednesday through Sunday — August 28 to August 31, 2019

Description

At 14,410’ Mt. Rainier rises up from lowland valleys in an immense display of rock, ice, and majestic beauty. Circumnavigating the mountain’s glaciated flanks lies the Wonderland Trail. This 95-mile loop gains and descends 23,810’ as it weaves through ancient forests, flows through flower filled meadows, and climbs the many steep ridges cut by the mountain’s glaciers and rivers. To travel this trail is to experience the ecosystems, beauty, and savagery of the mountain.

Course Overview

Wednesday, Day 1: Meet in Ashford WA

We meet runners at 4pm at Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford WA. This is a great place to purchase or rent any last minute gear. We spend the first night at Big Creek Campground, just outside of the park. Aspire serves and evening meal and we go over routes, risk management, and gear in preparation for the run. 

Thursday, Day 2: Run From Longmire to Mowich Lake: 34 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +9,755/-7,600

We make this day an early start, its big. Runners generally complete this day in 10-12 hours, but the spread has been as wide as 9-17 hours. 5 big climbs, river crossings, lake swimming, old growth forests, high meadows, and big views await. As will all your gear and plenty of hot food, showers, and beer at Mowich Campground. 

Friday, Day 2: Run From Mowich Lake to White River, 28 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +7,871’ / -7,900’

This is the “light” day of the trip. From Mowich Lake we send runners on the Spray Park section of the Wonderland. Why? Because big waterfalls, alpine meadows, and ridge lines that touch glaciers are amazing. The magic continues along the Carbon Glacier, Winthrop Glacier, Skyscraper Pass, and Berkley Park, before the trail leads directly into the White River Campground. 

Saturday, Day 2: Run From White River to Longmire, 32 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +6,184 / -7,610’

Some how it’s possible for each day of this trip to get better. The trek through Summerland and over Panhandle Gap, into Indian Bar, and up the Cowlitz Divide easily competes for some of the best trail miles on the planet. 20 miles into the the Wonderland Trail crosses pavement at Box Canyon. Here we have an aid station and a 3:00 pm cutoff for runners making the final climb to Reflection Lakes, from which it is almost literally “all down hill”. Once in Longmire we have dinner and drinks. We celebrate, we congratulate, and eventually say our goodbyes. 

Map

For topographical route information, elevation profiles, and a downloadable GPX file of the routes, visit our Caltopo Wonderland Map.

Transportation

This trip begins and ends in Longmire WA. We meet runners in Ashford WA just outside of the park on Wednesday evening. We also provide a shuttle to and from SeaTac airport on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday evening, this shuttle is NOT included in the course fee. All those booking flights should plan to fly home on Sunday. Runners who drive personal vehicle leave their cars in the backpackers parking lot in Longmire WA.  

Accommodations

Our basecamp will be at a different drive in campground each night.  Aspire will provide lively camp amenities for a remote but comfortable “glamp” style experience. Runners will need to provide or rent a personal tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc. 

Course Info Packet

For details about the trail, itinerary information, packing and gear lists, menu and dietary information, safety protocols, and trip policies please check out the 2018 Wonderland Course Packet (This packet will be updated with new info for 2019 by January 1st. Until then the 2018 guide will serve as a solid planning reference). 

Cost

Early Bird Registration: $1100, ends December 31st 
Regular Registration: $1200, ends March 31st
Late Registration: $1300, closes July 16th

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Trip Insurance

Every year we have at least one runner who due to injury, illness, or personal/familial circumstances can not participate in their registered trip.  While registrations can be transferred, Aspire does not issue refunds.  See our FAQ’s.  We strongly encourage each runner to purchase 3rd party trip insurance that will reimburse the cost of registration in the event that you are unable to participate in the event.