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Wonderland Trail Day 11: Summerland to Indian Bar

View south from Panhandle Gap on the Wonderland Trail

Two of the most-wanted camps on the Wonderland Trail are Summerland and Indian Bar. They lie just five miles apart. And our itinerary included both of them.

Day 11: Indian Bar
Distance: 5 miles
Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation +/-: 874’/2,002′
The sunrise from our camp at Summerland was a spectacular send off for the day. We’d be climbing 874′ to the highest point on the Wonderland Trail: 6,750′ high Panhandle Gap.

The climb was just over a mile and steep.

Sunrise at Summerland Camp
Sunrise at Summerland

This section of the trail is above the timberline and the scenery very different from most of the Wonderland Trail. There are creek crossings, snow fields, and aquamarine tarns that reminded me of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

We stopped at Panhandle Gap for a break, where the wind whipped at us, forcing us to head just downhill where we were partially sheltered.

View North from Panhandle Gap on the Wonderland Trail
Looking north from Panhandle Gap
View south from Panhandle Gap on the Wonderland Trail
Looking south from Panhandle Gap

From the gap, the trail does a bit of roller-coaster routine for the next two miles, finally reaching a ridgeline which begins the descent. The final 1.5 miles drops 1,600 feet, and you can actually pick out the Indian Bar shelter from far away.

Indian Bar in the distance
Can you spot the shelter at Indian Bar beyond the ridge?

We had a warm, bluebird day and meadows filled with wildflowers as we descended into the canyon.

Wildflowers and Derek above Indian Bar on the Wonderland Trail

We had the group site in Indian Bar as well–the nicest shelter yet! This one actually had wooden platform bunk beds. The hike took us just over three hours, leaving us plenty of time to soak our feet in the cold water of the Ohanapecosh River.

Our next camp would at Maple Creek, and our final night on the Wonderland Trail. At this point, I admit I was starting to look forward to celebrating the completion with a pizza and beer.

Summerland to Indian Bar Trail Map and Elevation Profile

Download file: day-11-summerland-to-indian-bar-81519-85154am(cleaned).gpx

Originally hiked on August 15, 2019 with Derek and Jason.

Back to Day 10  |  Continue to Day 12, Indian Bar to Maple Creek

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