MOUNT RAINIER -Backpackers can now hike the entire, and beloved, Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park after new steel footbridges were placed at three spots on the trail this week.
Parts of the trail, including bridges, had been wiped out by severe fall floods; until now it was not possible to hike the entire 93-mile-long trail which encircles Mount Rainier.
Park staff and volunteers, including from the Washington Trails Association and the Student Conservation Association, worked to repair and fully reopen the Wonderland Trail, one of North America's classic backpacks.
Hikers and backpackers on the trail will see the storm aftermath, including washouts and downed trees, and still will have to walk along the park road in the Stevens Canyon area.
Hikers on day trips on the Wonderland Trail, which has various access points in the park, do not need a permit. Anyone backcountry-
camping along the Wonderland Trail must obtain a permit. Get information at www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping-and-hiking.htm or phone the park's Wilderness Information Center at 360-569-HIKE (4453).