Mount Rainier National Park

The beauty of Mt. Rainier National Park will leave you speechless. Whether it's the alpine lakes, temperate rainforest full of ancient conifers, charismatic megafauna, redolent lupines and other wildflowers, active glaciers, wild berry picking, or the massive monolithic mountain itself, Mt. Rainier is awe-inspiring.

Mt. Rainier National Park awards only 5 commercial backpacking permits every year. Fatpacking has been awarded one of them, so this is one of your few chances to participate in a guided backpacking trip to this famed destination.

We will be hiking the less visited Northern Loop Trail as well as small sections of the famed Wonderland Trail on our 6-day hike, where we may encounter elk, deer, eagles, pikas, black bear, and marmots. Experience the timeless wonder of Mt. Rainier with us during the short, relatively dry and temperate season.


The Mt. Rainier National Park Fatpacking Trip will be from Sep 4-11, 2010. Here is the proposed itinerary.

Our journey will begin at White River Campground on the East side of Mt. Rainier. We’ll quickly climb up to Glacier Meadows and head towards the North Loop Trail. We'll stay at remote Lake Eleanor and go by Redstone Peak before we drop down to the Carbon Glacier. Eventually we'll climb up through beautiful alpine Spray Park before ending our trek at Mowich Lake.


Mt. Rainier is one of Fatpacking's most difficult, advanced, and rewarding trips. The terrain is actually well groomed and well maintained, however very little of it is level. Most days are spent either ascending or descending thousands of feet, sometimes both.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the 60s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s. However, be prepared for the possibility of overnight temperatures as low as the 20s. During the 2008 trip, we woke up to several inches of snow on September 1st. By the afternoon however, it had all melted and the next day, we were swimming in an alpine lake (not for very long though).

View 7 day weather forecast

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg, who lives in Hull, MA has many years of backpacking experience over a variety of terrains and guides most Fatpacking trips. He is a SOLO certified Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and Certified Food Handler.

Heather Gillis spent over 7 years as a backcountry Ranger with Olympic National Park. She has guided Fatpacking trips to Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park and is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Master Educator, and certified Yoga teacher. Everybody loves Heather.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. The list is extensive and can seem daunting, but please don't let this deter you from the trip. You can rent top notch quality gear for reasonable prices from Traverse Outfitters, Lower Gear or Outdoors Geek. It may also be possible for us to provide some gear for you at a nominal fee if you let us know far ahead of the trip. Unfortunately, we're not in the gear business so the selection of our available inventory is unpredictable. Please feel free to discuss any gear with us before the trip.


We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Backpacking is a rigorous, rewarding activity. You must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat often, so it's important to have fuel to feed it. Please check out the sample menus. This list is not comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. If you want to bring personal food, say a 5 pound chocolate cake, go for it. You'll not only hate carrying it over 40 miles through the wilderness, your body will reject the empty calories and prefer nutritious food.


$1150 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Seattle / Sea-Tac (SEA), personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, Park entrance fees, National Park permits, insurance, and 2 awesome guides.


Although a hotel stay is included for September 10th, people who live on the East Coast sometimes prefer to take a red-eye after the parting dinner on the 10th. You are certainly welcome to do so. And yes, you will be able to take a shower at the hotel before you leave.

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