ElevationAscent: 1,790' 546 m
Descent: -1,790' -546 m
High: 3,474' 1,059 m
Low: 1,773' 541 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
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“The best way to experience a glacier firsthand.”— Brian Smith
The Carbon River road was washed out by the 2006 flood and is open to vehicles only to the Carbon River Ranger Station at the park boundary. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic are permitted on the remainder of the road inside the park. Carbon is reached via the Carbon River road, off of State Route 165.
The Carbon River Trail now begins at the Carbon River entrance at the northwest border of the park. Bikes are allowed on this portion of the trail so expect to see some folks out riding... Bikes are not allowed on trails past the campground. Given that this trail follows an old roadbed, it's quite easy-going; the grade stays consistent at ~2%.
After reaching Ipsut Creek Campground, the trail maintains a gentle uphill grade as it parallels the Carbon River. At 1.7 miles from the Ipsut Creek Campground, cross the Carbon River on a foot log bridge. Once across, continue upriver to reconnect with the Wonderland Trail at the Carbon River Suspension Bridge. Do not cross the suspension bridge, continue straight to the Carbon Glacier overlook.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Mount Rainier National Park