Willis Wall: most hikes of the Wonderland Trail?
Mt. Rainier National Park has been my stomping ground since 1983. I've skied its environs and climbed it. I've biked all the roads within the park boundaries. And I've hiked all or most of the Wonderland Trail over 30 times. My familiarity peaked in 2012 when I undertook the enormous and unprecedented task of filming (via time lapse and video) all 101 miles, to include the alternate route over Spray Park, and mapping and filming every backcountry campsite and trail accessible year round water source. My fastest to date is 36 hours and everything in between up to 6 days; however, I usually take 3 to 4 days to complete the trail. Although I tend to be on the light and fast side of backpacking, I fully appreciate hikers who take up to 14 days, cache food and carry more weight; how we enjoy our outdoor sojourns is a personal choice, not subject to criticism. What you'll find on these pages are techniques and equipment choices that allow me to continue enjoying the environs of Mt. Rainier comfortably beyond age 60. Remember that the Willis Wall Blog contains articles on the same subjects so be sure to peruse it. Also, there are other videos that may be of interest to you in the Complete Video Guide. The vast majority of my work is free for viewing; I do offer, however, some paid products that are completely unique and comprehensive. Immerse yourself in everything Wonderland!
(NOTE: click the highlighted caps below to connect to these products)
WONDERLAND TRAIL COMPLETE SERIES: Vimeo Video On Demand provides the vehicle to purchase this series as a whole ($49.99) or individually. I take you clockwise around the Wonderland Trail where you can view every foot of the entire 101 mile journey, including the alternate route over Spray Park. Stay oriented with a moving map, elevation display and date/time of recording stamp. The series also includes Walkin' the Wonderland, a 27 minute panoramic film (utilizing 3 cameras to afford a 300 degree viewing angle) set to an original score, covering river crossings, road crossings and places of stunning views. Also included, Wonderland Trail Water, where I provide the viewer with video, lat/longs, and time of capture of every trail accessible year round water source on the Wonderland Trail. Each section is coordinated with the Base Series and includes a quick reference profile of every source on each section. If you are spending thousands of dollars and vacation time to hike this fabulous destination trail, this completely unique product provides much more than you can glean from a book. Click this link to view the Series Trailer and see for yourself.
WONDERLAND TRAIL BACKCOUNTRY CAMPS: A journey in and of itself, touring the backcountry camps located on the Wonderland Trail can be more than just informative. Yes, each camp tour showcases panoramic views with 3 camera stabilized video and a moving map. And each tour provides essential information about specific sites, water sources, location of toilets and bear poles. But nowhere else will you be able to soak in the views of Summerland, marvel in the blowdowns of Carbon River camp, or find the 'Hidden Gem" site at Maple Creek camp. Total time to tour: 2 hours and 15 minutes. Look for the AWARDS/NODS I've bestowed on certain sites in the individual descriptions. These camps appear in order, starting at Longmire and proceeding clockwise around the Wonderland. Buy the entire series for only $17.99!
My first project on the Wonderland Trail was filmed in 2005 and 2006, just prior to the devastating floods that changed some aspects of the trail (mostly river crossings). The contents include 7 sections entitled the Trail on Foot, the meat of the project. These sections include some of my observations at the time on clothing, poles, and the Bank of Pain. For something unique, check out the Aerial Overview (much more comprehensive than the shorter version available for viewing in a following section) where we take two turns around the mountain, corkscrewing higher to include lower and upper elevation features. Turn one includes narration where I talk about various aspects pertaining to geography and history, and turn two is set to a score by local guitarist Dan McInerney and explores the exquisite features of the mountain's glaciers. Also included are side trips to Camp Muir, Moraine Park, Burroughs Mountain, Grove of the Patriarchs and the Fremont Lookout. Check out the free viewing of the Outtakes and the short film, won•der•land. Although filmed in Standard Definition, this project still includes plenty of eye candy, a splash of humor, and some glimpses of preflood river crossings. Bottom line, the Wonderland Trail remains much the same as the first time I set foot to it.