Date Start End Trip 🚢miles Today's 🚢miles
2018-08-20 Mystic Camp Carbon River 13.8 4.8

Most of the other sites at Mystic Camp have already been vacated by the time we wake-up. Evidently, we're still catching on sleep. Because of our late wake up, we do miss out on our neighbor's offer to boil us some water.

Last night we discovered that we're blowing way to fast through the 3oz (ca. 110g) butane canister we have for the 3 days to our resupply at Mowich Lake. Writing on the canister claims ~21 boils, but we've used more than half the canister making yesterday's lunch & dinner.

Time to be more careful with the flame size. And turning off the stove as soon as the water boils. We do make some tea for our breakfast as we pack up.

β›Ί Mystic Camp

Mystic Camp to Carbon River, 4.8 miles (ca. 8 km).

We start with a short climb to pretty Mystic Lake.

Pretty Mystic Lake in the morning light
Casper & Tatyanna at pretty Mystic Lake in the morning light.

Shortly after Mystic Lake, we run into two backpackers on their way out to Sunrise who can spare another small gas canister. It has been used some but should tie us over to Mowich Lake with what we have in ours.

Casper ��& Tatyanna hiking past Mystic Lake
Casper & Tatyanna hiking past Mystic Lake.

We continue climbing for another half mile (ca. 800 m) to a pass. From here it is nothing but downhill until the Carbon River campsites.

Casper staying hydrated
Casper staying hydrated.

The views are not as good today. More smoke has come in from the Canadian forest fires and obscure the views of Mt Rainier.

Smokey views of Mt Rainier
Smokey views of Mt Rainier.
We celebrate the start of our downhill after a 2nd breakfast at the day's high point.

We start our ~4 miles of downhill, initially along a small creek through a verdant green valley. The valley was formed by moraine pushed aside by the Carbon glacier. The glacier has long retreated and the moraine is now covered in trees.

Mystic Camp to Carbon River elevation profile. A long steady descent.
Casper on trail
Casper in the lush green valley with a gurgling stream along the Wonderland Trail.

The terrain changes as we near Dick creek at mile 3.5. There are 2 campsites just off the trail. We cross Dick creek and continue on. Casper is pretty tired and I have his backpack again for stretches at a time.

The terrain is rockier now. The trail isn't as smooth as it was earlier on. Still very green though with small streams running across the trail. Some have really sweet little waterfalls.

Casper passing a small waterfall
Casper passing a small waterfall.

πŸŒ‰ Carbon River Swing Bridge

After ~4.5 miles, we reach the swing bridge across the Carbon River which we'll need to cross to get to the Carbon River campsites.

Casper reaches the Carbon River swing bridge
Casper reaches the Carbon River swing bridge.

One by one we cross the swing bridge as instructed by signs at the bridge. Casper first, followed by Tatyanna and then myself.

β›Ί Carbon River

The Carbon River campsites are another 0.3 miles past the bridge, just across a side river flowing into the Carbon River. The glacial waters of the Carbon River are much too silted to make good drinking water. But the side river offers clear drinking water (after filtering).

Casper triumphant on a river island
Casper triumphant on a river island while I filter water.

The same Ranger who checked our permits at Mystic Camp checks our permits and asks for our help to clear a new site. A landslide has destroyed some existing ones, and he is creating new ones. Using an ax and a shovel he had the beginnings of a new pad, but a large boulder needed to be moved. It was too heavy to move, even with a sapling over a fulcrum for mechanical advantage. The 3 of us were able to move it out of the way though.

To save fuel, I'm closing the Mountain House meals off with "homemade" clothespins after pouring in the boiling water. This keeps the heat in better.

Home made clothespins on Mountain House meals
Home made clothespins on Mountain House meals.

An hour before dusk, we say goodbye to the Ranger who is hiking back to Mystic Camp. Color me impressed.

Tonight Casper and Tatyanna sleep in the tent while I cowboy camp outside.

Tatyanna ��& Casper in the Mountain Hardware Supermega UL2
Tatyanna & Casper in the Mountain Hardware Supermega UL2.