One of the entrances to Mount Rainier National Park was walking distance from our cabin. When visiting any national park I highly suggest getting a National Parks pass so that your entry is already paid for and entering is quick. Our first stop was the Longmire visitor center to speak to the park rangers about trail conditions. The park site is kept up to date but the rangers have the best information and they can point out places on the map. The road through the park is beautiful and winding, lined with massive trees and a feeling of peace.
A couple of the buildings were still closed to the public due to covid but the rangers had tables set up with maps and backcountry hikers could still get permits. There is a decent amount of parking in this part of the park but during the busy season I can see how the parking would fill up quickly.
The Longmire area of the park was once a heath spa and the name comes from the family who owned the spa. Visitors would come to soak in the natural springs. From this area we began our first hike, first along the Trail of Shadows. This is a .7 mile loop that has information about the history of the area. We took the Rampart Ridge Trail from there and hiked to where it met the Wonderland Trail and circled back to the visitor center. This loop was a little over 6 miles and a fantastic start to the trip.
This is a great part of the park to visit with easy access to trails and park facilities such as the restaurant, gift shop, ranger station, museum, and restrooms. When visiting national parks please remember that dogs are not allowed on the trails and leave no trace.
Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!
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