“Carbon River, named for coal deposits found in the area, is located in the park’s northwest corner. This part of Mount Rainier National Park receives consistently high amounts of rainfall so the climate and plant communities found here resemble that of a temperate rainforest.
The Carbon River road was washed out by the 2006 flood and is open to vehicles only to the Carbon River Ranger Station at the park boundary. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic are permitted on the remainder of the road inside the park.”
Destination Carbon Glacier!
We’re aiming high for the second annual Swift Campout and Mount Rainier is calling our name. A few years back we discovered Ipsut Creek Campground at the northwest corner of the National Park boundary. What was a fully accessible car-camping site has been closed to autos for ten years, but is still maintained by the backcountry staff at the Carbon Glacier Ranger Station.
Join us for a 140 mile round-trip adventure, or park at the trailhead for a 5 mile ride into Ipsut Creek Campground. If you have a few days to spare, enjoy a stunning multi-day trip from Seattle to Ipsut Creek by way of Kanaskat Palmer State Park (reservations very much encouraged!) and meet us on Mount Rainier.
The Ipsut Creek Campground is located 5 miles (8 km) from the Carbon River Entrance. Due to the 2006 flood the road is closed to vehicles; the campground is open to hikers with a wilderness camping permit. Camping costs $10.00 per person, bring exact cash.
There are no fires allowed at Ipsut Creek Campground.
Please note that Ipsut Creek Campground is first come first serve! Folks riding from Seattle will arrive late in the day. Anyone who gets to camp early should claim a few campsites for the lot of us!
The campground is first come first serve! I tried to ask the Ranger and he gracefully deflected all questions about the possibility of the campground being full. The campground is large so we’re not worried, but we have no back-up plan if the campground is full, and are not responsible for how well and where you sleep that night 😉 Technically we can sleep on the washed out road if necessary.
This is an adventure, right?!
The Sunrise Group meets at Swift Industries loading dock at 6:30am, roll-out at 7am sharp. Really.
558 Occidental Ave South.
Seattle, WA 98104
Distance: 70 Miles
Terrain: All paved until Mount Rainier National Park boundary. 5 miles of dirt road to access the campground
Map and Cue Sheet: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14176455
We’ll move at a steady pace as a group or in a few well matched smaller groups of riders. You need to be in good shape for this distance, and must be independent and mechanically self-sufficient. If your natural pace doesn’t fit the group pace (too fast or a lot slower) that’s totally fine! We’ll meet you at camp. We don’t intend to drop anyone, but this is an ambitious S240 and you’ve got to be able to comfortably ride + navigate independently.
We’ll set a pace that allows for a full day of riding–typically averaging 12-16 miles an hour over 7-10 hours.
If you feel good riding 60 miles unloaded you’ll sleep like a baby at the end of this ride!
Not sure what your legs can handle? Take a spin around Lake Washington to prepare for Swift Campout!
We’ll plan to break in Orting, WA at the grocery store. This is the most convenient full-service stop for groceries en route.
Another break will be twelve miles up the road in Wilkeson before we begin climbing up to Carbon River Road. Please note that services are pretty limited in metropolitan Wilkeson.
We’ll keep our breaks to 15-20 minutes so that we make steady headway up that mountain.
Not feeling 70 mile days but you still want to ride?
Jump on Light Rail to Sea-Tac to cut out 15 miles.
Sounder Train Services
Late afternoon departure: Sounder train is departing Seattle after the soccer game on Saturday, June 25th. The game starts at 2pm and the Sounder Train departs 35 minutes after the game ends. Get off at the Sumner Station to make your ride 40 miles.
Homeward bound: A train will be servicing the 1:10pm Mariner’s game on Sunday, June 26th. Please contact the Sumner Sounder Station for the train departure time.
Drive to the trailhead and enjoy the stunning 5 mile ride into the National Park!
Coming from Portland?
Take Amtrak to Tacoma and come meet us on Mount Rainier! Trains depart Portland at 8:20am and are scheduled to arrive in Tacoma at 11am. From there it’s 50 miles to join us at camp!
What to bring
Food (there are no services at or near camp)
Bicycle repair kit
We highly recommend travelling light! Our goal is to ride with a Saddle Bag and Rando Bag combo.
Sign on as a Swift Camper on our site too!
Special Swift Campout Gear and Beers Happy Hour
Friday, June 17th
Swift Industries: 562 1st Ave South, Ste 201 Seattle WA 98104
We’ll be answering route questions, equipping you with the gear you need, and we are happy to lend a hand with packing tips and meal ideas for the following weekend!