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Wonderland Trail Day 9: Granite Creek to Sunrise

Mount Rainier from Berkeley Park

Day 9 on the Wonderland Trail was our final low mileage day. We would be hiking over scenic Skyscraper Pass, through wildflower-laden Berkeley Park and down to our destination: Sunrise Camp.  

Day 9: Sunrise
Distance: 4.4 miles
Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation +/-: 969’/839′
Sunrise Camp is about a mile from the Sunrise Information Center, a grill that serves cheeseburgers, a small market, and our final resupply point.

We began with an 800′ climb from Granite Creek, above the timberline to Skyscraper Pass.

Leaving Granite Creek Camp
Jason climbing up trail from Granite Creek

It was a little over one mile, and at the pass we began to run notice more hikers on the trail. Skyscraper Pass and nearby Skyscraper Mountain are popular destinations for day hikers heading out from Sunrise. The views were spectacular.

Mount Rainier from Berkeley Park
Looking back at Mount Rainier from Skyscraper Pass
Looking north from Skyscraper Pass
Looking north from Skyscraper Pass.

From the pass, we headed down to Berkeley Park, then up over the saddle to our final descent to Sunrise.

We reached Sunrise early and once again, pretty much had our pick of the campsites. The sites here are closer together and feel less private, partly because there are so many day hikers wandering by.

Once we setup camp, we hiked an extra mile to the Sunrise Visitor Center to pickup our resupply packages and enjoy a meal that wasn’t rehydrated in a bag. We were also able to re-charge our devices at the visitor center and revel in our stinky backpacker mystique for the tourists. Next to the grill is a market that sells mostly souvenirs, but also some snacks, fuel canisters, sunscreen, and some food. At this point, we were growing a little weary of the lack of variety in our food bags, so it was really nice to supplement with a few different snacks.

We ate lunch, picked up our resupply package, chatted with some other folks who just complete the Wonderland Trail, and then had dinner, too before heading back to camp.

Shadow Lake near Sunrise Camp
Shadow Lake near Sunrise Camp

Tomorrow would be our tenth day on the Wonderland Trail, and a return to more “normal” (i.e. not short) mileage as we hiked to Summerland, considered one of the most beautiful camps on the trail.

Granite Creek to Sunrise Trail Map and Elevation Profile

Note that this map does not show the hike from camp to the Sunrise Visitor Center (about a mile each way).

Download file: day-9-granite-creek-to-sunrise-81319-92024am(cleaned).gpx

Originally hiked on August 13, 2019 with Derek and Jason.

Back to Day 8  |  Continue to Day 10, Sunrise to Summerland

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