The Wonderland Trail

Day 3 Granite Creek To White River Campground

Up by 6:10am, left camp by 8:30am. With the rain fly on the tent last night, Ed and I both slept better. The day’s hike out of camp starts with another good trudge. Climbed up until we reached Skyscraper pass…Wow, what a view!! From here, it seemed as if we could see forever!

Skyscraper Pass
Skyscraper Pass

The views of the Mountain were great from here, and we kept hearing rockfall as we stood there, afterwards, you could see the cloud of dust on the mountain. We never actually saw one happen, but could always see the telltale sign of one afterwards. From this vantage point, we could see Grand Park, Old Desolate, the Winthrop Glacier, the Carbon, Mystic Lake in the distance, Mt. Fremont look-out, Burroughs Mountain, Skyscraper Mountain, and in the far distance, you could see Glacier Peak far to the north.

Since we were so close, we decided to summit Skyscraper Mountain, so, we dropped off our packs at the pass, grabbed our cameras, and took off for the mountain top. It only took us 15 minutes to do so, and the view was worth it! It was like being in an airplane! Complete 360 degree views from there, totally awesome! Took lots of pictures, and from this vantage point, we could also see Mt. Baker in the far distance.

After retrieving our packs, we continued on our trek to Sunrise. Rounding the corner, we could see the beginning of Berkley Park, and the Northern Loop trail., very scenic area. Ran into a group of hikers that were from Ireland, and after talking with them for awhile, they said that they were preparing to go to Mt. Kilimanjaro, so, in preparation for that, they came here to do the Northern Loop! Not long after reaching Frozen Lake, we started to run into a lot of dayhikers that had come up to hike around Sunrise.

At Frozen lake, we met an older woman (maybe late 60’s?), who told us that not too long ago, she did a solo trip around the Wonderland, and it only took her 8 and a half days to complete, with a 52lb pack! Hmmm……Finally, Sunrise! Beautiful, as usual.

We could hardly wait to get to the lodge, as we had visions of burgers and soft ice cream running through our heads.

Yum! The burgers, as far as I was concerned, were a 4 star meal!!! Just thinking about it now, makes my stomach growl.

Sunrise
Sunrise

We got lots of questions from people here at the lodge, like, “Do you like that Palisades pack?”, or “How much does your pack weigh?”, which resulted in other conversations. We leave with bellies full, to White River campground, and it’s a grueling 1 and a half hour downhill!!! This was not much fun for our knees. Very glad for this section to be over. We had stopped about half way down to take a water break, and to do some watering, and the biting black flies would just swarm us here, worse than just about anywhere else…

Because of that, we only stop for a couple minutes, and get going. Flies just seriously bad here…Reached camp by 3:50 pm.

Nice to have running water, and flushing toilets again.  Sure beats the “openness” of Granite creek camp! Shannon, Russ’s wife, and two of his girls, meet us here at camp to re-stock us. I only had 2 measly pieces of jerky, 1 power bar, 2 Top Ramen’s, and a 2 oz. bag of trail mix left.

Clean clothes! And, I took a sponge bath at the bathroom with a towel that I had brought along, so I felt cleaner for the first time in days. Overall, another big day with big views, and we felt pretty good by the time we got to camp. As I am sitting here at the walk-in camp for Wonderlanders, I can hear the White River in the background, with boulders knocking around as they roll and tumble down river.

There is a couple of guys here that we met our first night at Dick creek, they are in the campsite next to us. They had only stopped to eat, and fill up with water, while we were down at the stream, and we find out that they are here from Beaver, Oregon. We talked to them for quite a while. We play another game of dice, on a table this time, and I think Russ wins one!!! Turn in again, around 9:30pm, and sleep well.