Mt. Rainier National Park Halts Wonderland Trail Reservations

The park cut off permit applications after receiving a record number of requests.
Wonderland Trail (photo/Flickr)

Wonderland Trail (photo/Flickr)

Tough news for procrastinators: all of the coveted backpacking permits for the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park have been spoken for.

Park officials announced Friday that have had to stop accepting reservations for the 93-mile trail due to a record number of requests. These permits include both the full circuit and other large portions of the trail.

The number of Wonderland Trail permit requests has been skyrocketing over the past few years. According to park records, reservations averaged around 800 per season prior to 2013. In 2013, that number jumped to 1,400. This season, about 2,600 requests had been received as of March 31st.

This does not mean that all hope is lost for backpacking on the trail this summer, though. Park officials say that the park holds about 30 percent of backountry space to first come, first served permits (also known as walk-up permits). Hikers can gain "day of hike" access with this permit, or even secure a spot one day in advance of their hike.

Officials also say that a great way to enjoy the trail is to hike it in smaller segments, which improves the chance of obtaining a reservation.

Read more: Seattle Times