The 14,300-acre Clearwater Wilderness occupies an oddly shaped parcel of unlogged land near the northern edge of Mount Rainier National Park. Much of the surrounding lands have been clear-cut. Access is from Forest Service roads off Highway 410 along the West Fork White River and from the Carbon River Road area.
The Carbon Trail (No. 1179) cuts across this small wilderness for 9.4 miles, with a mile-long spur to the summit of 6,089-foot Bearhead Mountain, which provides views across the alpine meadows to still-wild Mt. Rainier and the heavily logged slopes of adjacent private and Forest Service lands.
Get to the eastern end of Carbon Trail by following Forest Road 74 from Highway 410, and turning up Road 7450 to its end at the trailhead. From the west, take the Carbon River Road from Wilkenson, and turn up Road 7810 to its end beyond Copley Lake at the trailhead.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition