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Wonderland Trail Day 5: South Mowich River to Eagle’s Roost

Our fifth day on the Wonderland Trail meant our first resupply at Mowich Lake!

Day 5: Eagle's Roost
Distance: 8.5 miles
Time: 5.5 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation +/-: 2,896’/604′
With nearly 3,000 feet of climbing, this was Leg Day. Well, pretty much every day on the Wonderland Trail is leg day, but this was mostly up, up and more up. That’s what you do on a thru-hike. Sleep, eat, hike and repeat.

So we broke camp, and started climbing.

Derek and Jason headed to Mowich Lake

There were no views on the trail to Mowich Lake, just forest. But there was a lovely cascade in Carter Creek, fed from Mowich Lake further uphill.

Waterfall below Mowich Lake
Lovely cascade on Carter Creek

Not far past the creek crossing we reached a junction with the Spray Park Trail, making a mental note of this for later. Our camp for the night was Eagle’s Roost along the Spray Park Trail, but first we had to pick-up our resupply packages at Mowich Lake Ranger Station.

When you emerge from the forest, you encounter the road and a series of ugly campsites at Mowich Lake. It’s not a place I would choose to stay, but there were plenty of people who had. The resupply boxes are in front of the ranger station, which is roughly 0.1 miles along the southeast shore of the lake.

Mowich Lake Panorama

We got there, found our buckets and had a little lunchtime feast. The sky cleared enough to give us a bit of blue and warm sunlight.

Resupply at Mowich Lake Ranger Station

There are trash receptacles at the Mowich Lake camp area, so we were able to empty our trash and donate our empty 5-gallon buckets.

Ready to hit the trail again, we headed back down to the junction with the Spray Park Trail, and followed it roughly 2.5 miles to Eagle’s Roost camp. This camp is set on a steep, forested hillside with peek-a-boo views of the mountains (when it’s clear).  We scoped out a decent site, setup our tents and headed out for a short side trip to Spray Falls.

Spray Falls
Spray Falls is detour-worthy

The falls are fed from the creek running through Spray Park, which we would be hiking through tomorrow. It’s a big, beautiful waterfall, even on a cloudy afternoon, and definitely worth the short hike.

Back at camp, the clouds rolled in and brought that cold, damp air with them. We had occasional rain, but were buttoned up pretty neatly and were able to enjoy dinner without getting too wet.

Damp evening at Eagles Roost Camp
Our camp at Eagle’s Roost. Photo: Derek Loranger

After dinner, the weather even gave us a glimpse of the view beyond the trees.

Early Evening at Eagles Roost

Day five was a satisfying day. We did a lot of climbing, successfully retrieved our resupply packages, had a great campsite and enjoyed a side-trip to Spray Falls. Tomorrow would be a longer day, with the high point on the Spray Park Trail and the Carbon River suspension bridge to look forward to.

South Mowich River to Eagle’s Roost Trail Map and Elevation Profile

Download file: day-5-south-mowich-to-eagles-roost-8919-80300am(cleaned).gpx

Originally hiked on August 9, 2019 with Derek and Jason.

Back to Day 4  |  Continue to Day 6, Eagle’s Roost to Dick Creek

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