A whole year had passed since I hiked the first section of the Wonderland Trail from Longmire to Mowich lake. I arbitrarily designated certain sections as first, second or third sections, but there is no order in which section to start the trail, or to even do it in sections. It was just easier for me to do the trail this way due to my work schedule. Hike your own hike they say. This year I set out to complete the second section of the trail. I started from where I left off at Mowich Lake and hiked to the Fryingpan Creek trailhead with an overnight at Mystic Camp. Paul, one of my hiking companions from last year, could not make it so it was just Cheryl and I.
Permits were obtained earlier in the year but I was not able to get permits for the final section. I'll have to get walk in permits later in the summer or wait another year for the remainder of the trail. The permits I had were for Thursday through Saturday, staying Thursday night at Mystic Camp and Friday night at the Sunrise walk in camp. We got a very early start on Thursday and drove both our vehicles to Longmire and picked up our permits. We then drove to the Fryingpan Creek trailhead and dropped off one vehicle before driving the remaining distance to Mowich Lake. All this driving made for a very long morning and we didn't start hiking until around 12:45 in the afternoon. If I were to do this section again, I would try to set up the shuttle the night before like we did last year. At the very least, I'd drive in via hwy 410 and pick up the permit from White River instead of driving all the way around from Longmire. Mowich lake is a difficult trailhead to shuttle to and from due to the driving distance involved.
The day was almost totally socked in and we only got a few views of the Mountain all day. Since we got such a late start getting to the trail, we didn't get to Mystic camp until about 7:00pm. It was still a great trip, but felt rushed due to our lateness. Some views would have been nice but at least it didn't rain on us.
On the second day we were to hike to the Sunrise walk in camp and stay the night there but we figured we would just hike on out since the remainder of the trip was all downhill anyways. Again we were blessed with no rain but the Mountain was obscurred by clouds almost the whole day.
All in all, for this trip, the weather was not the best for viewing the Mountain, but the cool weather was nice for hiking in. A common thread from this trip was every single person we met on the trail that asked about our campsites seemed to think hiking to Mystic Camp from Mowich Lake was some extraordinary accomplishment. I don't know, it was only like 14 miles or so. Not sure what the big deal was. There was a lot of elevation gain though so maybe that's what everyone was so excited about. If I was to do it again, I wouldn't have changed a thing.