Friday, September 11, 2009
Harvey Manning described the backcountry campsites at Klapatche Park in Mount Rainier National Park as the most beautiful on the entire Wonderland Trail. I agree! And unlike other spectacular places to set up camp along that wonderful trail-such as Indian Bar and Summerland, you won't have gobs of people around. The west side of the park is the quietest side of the park and perhaps the wildest. On a recent two day 32 mile backpack that took me up the South Puyallup Trail to the Wonderland Trail to Klaptache Park and then down to the North Puyallup Trail to St Andrews Creek Trail back to Klapatche, the Wonderland and out-I encountered the following:
The first day- no one on the trail! Just got to share Klapatche Park with two other groups and a young black bear.
The second day- just three people on the trail-and got to watch a really big bear down in an isolated basin. Saw five goats too!
My campsite-site number one-was absolutely a stunner. I got to stare at the mountain all evening-and watch moonlight twinkle on little Aurora Lake. It was hard to pack up the next day. If you haven't checked this part of the park out yet-get to it. Of course Klapatche Park will be in my upcoming Backpacking Book!