Carbon River

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
One to two days
Moderate to Strenuous Hiking

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Created On: Nov 26, 2008
Last Edited On: Dec 4, 2008


This is a much longer route with more elevation gain, but provides access to Tolmie Peak when the Mowich Road is closed.

Getting There

Carbon River Park Entrance:
From Puyallup:
1. Drive 13 miles east on state Route 410 to Buckley
2. Turn right (south) onto state Route 165 and proceed through Carbonado
3. Continue straight on the Carbon River Road to the entrance.

*Carbon River Road: vehicle access is open to barricades located at the county road washout on State Route 165. Parking is extremely limited. From this location it is a 1/2 mile walk to the Carbon River Entrance. Inside the park the Carbon River Road/Trail sustained further heavy damage making hiking hazardous through rough terrain and fallen trees. The park does not recommend attempting to access the area.*

Route Description

This route now begins at the Carbon River Ranger Station, as the road has been washed out by floods beyond this point. Hike approximately 4.9 miles along the former road to Ipsut Creek Campground, which is now being managed as a backcountry camp. Some stretches of road are in excellent condition, and others have been utterly obliterated. Be prepared to navigate heavy blowdown and rough terrain in places. About halfway to Ipsut Creek lies the Green Lake Trail which is a nice 1.7 mile out-and-back trail leading to its namesake, Green Lake.

From Ipsut Creek Campground, take the Carbon Glacier Trail for .5 mile until you reach the fork. Take a right hand turn and proceed to Ipsut Pass. This is a moderately strenuous 3.5 miles that ascends from 2600' to 5100', mostly in the last mile. You will then intersect with the trail from Mowich Lake leading to Eunice Lake and Tolmie Peak. Turn right onto this trail and proceed the remaining 1.7 miles to Tolmie Peak.

Beginning Elevation: 1750'
Tolmie Peak: 5939'
Total Elevation Loss: 335'
Total Elevation Gain: 4524'
10.6 miles each way/21.2 miles round trip

Essential Gear

As always, the ten essentials:

1. A map of the area
2. A compass
3. A flashlight with extra batteries/bulb
4. Extra food
5. Extra clothing, including rain gear
6. Sunglasses and sunscreen
7. A pocketknife
8. Matches in a waterproof container
9. A candle or other fire starter
10. A first aid kit

This trip can be done in all four seasons. Bring appropriate backcountry snow travel equipment in winter months.

External Links

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