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Wonderland Trail Day 12: Indian Bar to Maple Creek

Headed up Cowlitz Divide

Day 12 would start with a foggy climb with no views, then take us plummeting downward 3,805 feet to camp at Maple Creek, our final campsite for the trip.

Day 11: Indian Bar
Distance: 10.6 miles
Time: 5 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation +/-: 1,220’/3,805′
Before we headed out, we took one more look at the ravine at Indian Bar, then started the climb up to Cowlitz Divide. The divide begins about a mile south on the trail, and you follow the divide for the next two miles. On a clear day, you’d have sweeping views on either side of the divide.

The Pacific Northwest said, “Not today.”

At about the five mile mark, we reached the junction with the trail to Olallie Creek Camp. Stay right and follow the trail down into the heavily forested canyon.

Deeper into the forest
The forest grew darker as we descended lower.

Two miles further and we reached the Nickel Creek crossing. We were nearing an elevation of 3,000 feet, and the forest grew thicker and darker as we dropped through different zones.

Crossing Nickel Creek
Crossing Nickel Creek

At Box Canyon the trail on the west side of the bridge was closed for maintenance, so we crossed at the road and took the opportunity to use a civilized restroom, with a sink and everything! We hiked through the tunnel and reconnected with the trail down toward Stevens Canyon.

Once you reach Stevens Canyon, the trail begins to climb parallel to Stevens Creek. In just over a mile you reach a side trail to Maple Creek Camp. The campground is verdant green, thick with trees and undergrowth. We pitched our tents, replenished our water from the creek, and did a little exploring.

Maple Creek
Maple Creek

We hoped to work our way to Maple Falls, but there was no tread to be found, the creek banks were overgrown and the creek itself had deep sections that would require wading, scrambling and frankly, more than we had energy for. We had one final hot meal on the trail.

Tomorrow would be our final day on the Wonderland Trail.

Indian Bar to Maple Creek Trail Map and Elevation Profile

Download file: day-12-indian-bar-to-maple-creek-81619-84450am(cleaned).gpx

Originally hiked on August 16, 2019 with Derek and Jason.

Back to Day 11  |  Continue to Day 13, Maple Creek to Longmire

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