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Alpinejo.tripod.com: Backcountry Trails Guide
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Washington Backcountry Trails

Suspension Bridge

Trail above Carbon Glacier

Foggy spell

View of Mt Rainier

View of Mt Rainier

Wildflowers along the trail


Mystic Lake

Mystic Lake

Definition of terms below
Location: Mt Rainier National Park
Directions: Head out Hwy 410, turn on to Hwy 165 and head to the Carbon River entrance of Mt Rainier Nat'l Park, continue as far as you can make it to the Ipsut Creek Campground. 
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation +/- 3500 ft elevation gain
Distance: 12 Miles Roundtrip
Rating: 8 out of 10
Fishing: Great
Scenery: Mt Rainier, Carbon Glacier, wildflower meadows and suspension bridge
Map: Printable Topo Map


Mystic Lake is worth a weekend visit. 

The first couple of miles are easy, relatively flat hike along the Carbon River. Once you get to the Carbon Glacier and the suspension bridge over the river the trail steepens. Keep on trudging up the hill because there is big payoffs at the top. You get some beautiful wildflower meadows  (Moraine Park) that guide your eyes up to the summit of Mt Rainier.

You drop sharply down to Mystic Lake. There are only 7 sites at the Mystic Lake backcountry camp and they are in the woods. I have read that the camps at Curtis Ridge are far better.

We met some really neat people hiking the Wonderland Trail, one guy in particular was 70 years old and had plenty of stories to tell.

Fishing-- was great. Using a brown Vibrax rooster tail. We took a swim with our snorkel and mask to find out where the fish were hanging out-it paid off. The ranger said she had never seen anybody fishing the lake let alone swimming in it.

 Do it again? Any time I have a chance

Other Links:
Hiker.org trip report by: Gregg Petrie
WTA Trip Repor
t (do a search for mystic lake)
Mystic Lake and Carbon Glacier info

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