Ipsut Creek

Mount Rainier National Park

JULY 26 - 27, 2008  This was 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.  The weather was cool but mostly sunny as our group of 12 hiked in to the campsite at a brisk pace.   We were assigned a spacious campsite with plenty of room for 10 tents that boasted rare backcountry luxuries, such as picnic tables and bear poles.  After setting up camp, 10 of our group set off on a short day hike up the Wonderland trail towards Ipsut Pass.  This trail climbs steadily alongside Ipsut Creek, traveling through beautiful forest with plenty of wildflowers and several waterfalls.  The second large waterfall was a good turnaround point, so we headed back to camp for dinner. 

Dinner was a backcountry potluck and we ate very well that night.  Smoked salmon, cheese & crackers, beef stew, lentil soup with an Indian dipping bread, chicken & apple sausages, stir fried vegetables, and a pesto-pasta dish, with chocolates and a strawberry cheesecake for dessert.  Hanging food from the bear pole turned out to be a spectator sport and not as easy to do as it appeared--especially when it came time to hang the last bag after dark. 

It rained softly at night, but the temperature remained mild.  We woke to more soft rain in the morning, and after breakfast we hiked to the bridge that crosses the Carbon River on the way to the Carbon Glacier overlook.  Short of time this day, we turned back at the river and headed back to camp.  We saw close up the power of this river and witnessed the aftermath of the destruction it is capable of. 

10 miles round trip from the ranger station to the campground

Approximately 4 miles round trip to the 2nd waterfalls, day 1

Approximately 5 miles round trip to the Carbon River crossing, day 2