Ipsut Creek

Mount Rainier National Park

JUNE 20 - 21, 2008  A Mountaineers backpack trip to the Ipsut Creek campground.  The Carbon River Road washed out in 2006, making this a 5-mile road hike to the former car campgrounds at Ipsut Creek.  It was mostly cloudy as our group of 11 hiked in to the campsite at a leisurely pace.   We planned to stop for a hike to Chenuis Falls, but the river was running high and covered parts of the trail, so we saved that hike for another trip.  Winters are harsh on The Mountain, and a little more of the road had eroded since I was here last year.   The trail to the Carbon Glacier suffered severe damage, and the bridge had not been replaced yet.  But the early season wildflowers were beautiful, and I especially enjoyed the lovely saucer-shaped pink flowers of the bristly-black currant bushes that were growing along the banks of the Carbon River. 

Our group campsite was spacious and next to the group campsite occupied by a trail work crew who were busy repairing the winter's damage.  After setting up camp, half of our group set off on a short hike up the Ipsut Creek/Wonderland, but lingering snow turned them back after about 11/2 miles.    Dinner was a backcountry potluck and we ate very well.  A quiet evening was spent reading, working crossword puzzles, or enjoying pleasant conversation. 

It rained softly at night, but the temperature remained mild.  Sunday dawned with partly sunny skies, and we stopped at the Green Lake trailhead while part of the group to hiked up to beautiful Ranger Falls.  All who make the trip to the falls enjoyed it very much.  We returned to our cars about 5 minutes ahead of the rain that preceded a rather impressive thunderstorm, so we were very fortunate in that respect. 

10 miles round trip from the ranger station to the campground

Approximately 3 miles round trip on the Ipsut Creek/Wonderland Trail, day 1

Approximately 2 miles round trip to Ranger Falls, day 2