One of our close to home go-to hikes. Weather today was actually better than we thought as we had pretty good views of the mountain at the loop viewpoint as well as at the Nisqually river crossing on the trail to Carter falls. Our standard trek is to start at Longmire and do the Trail of the Shadows counter-clockwise before heading up to Rampart Ridge. Complete the loop by taking the Wonderland trail back toward Longmire and then up to the Nisqually river crossing. Enjoy the views and then take the Wonderland trail back to Longmire for a roughly 9 mile hike. A fair amount of people on the trails today -- probably more than we last did this hike toward the tail end of summer. Fall colors are out.
The forecast called for hazy sunshine and clouds later on so we opted for a close to home hike in Mt. Rainier National Park. We started from Longmire on the trail of the shadows counter clockwise and then on to Rampart Ridge. So much easier walking without snow as our last trip on this trail was back in April when it was fully covered in snow. Hazy views of Longmire from the viewpoint but the views of Mt. Rainier from the main viewpoint were better than we thought given the forecast. Fall colors are just starting to emerge. Back on the Wonderland trail near Longmire we stopped along the river for lunch before heading up to the river crossing just past Cougar Rock campground. By this time clouds and haze were in full effect but you could still see the mountain. Back to the car at Longmire for a nice day's trek at just under 9 miles.
A gorgeous bluebird day on the mountain. We arrived Longmire around 10AM and did the Trail of the Shadows before heading up the Rampart Ridge trail. The trail is 98% covered in snow. We wore micro spikes the entire way. Sections that get sun were soft and slushy and we did post-hole a fair number of times. We've done this hike several times although never with this much snow. We completely missed the right turn onto the Wonderland trail for the return trip. Fortunately since we had done the hike before we realized something wasn't right, looked at the GPS and found we gone left on the Wonderland trail. The sign at that junction is gone or maybe just buried in snow. A good reminder to be prepared and not just blindly follow the tracks in the snow. Glad we had the GPS to set us straight. We saw only 5 souls on the trail so it felt like we had it all to ourselves. Afterwards drove up to Paradise to enjoy a late lunch while taking in the great views.
First real hike of the year for us. Usually we do this hike in May since other spots in the park are still snowed in. No snow issues this year. And with Paradise melted out, it seems the crowds were all going to higher elevations. Would have got to the park entrance shortly after 9AM but there was about a 1 mile backup that added an extra 30 minutes of travel time. And while the Longmire parking area was packed, we saw maybe only about 20 people along the trail in total so we had plenty of solitude. Most of this hike has shade which was great because it was hot. After completing the loop we hike up the Wonderland trail a couple miles to where it crosses the Nisqually river to get one more mountain fix before heading home.
Chilly but crystal clear day out on the trail today. There were some small patches of ice at Longmire when we started our hike around 9:30 AM. We did the Trail of the Shadows counter clockwise before heading up the Rampart Ridge Loop trail. After we finished the loop we headed up the Wonderland trail to the river crossing (towards Carter Falls) where we had a nice lunch in the sun by the river. Saw about 10 people total on the trail today. Still have a few weeks of snow free hiking at the lower elevations in the park before winter takes hold.
Beautiful day for a hike. Our first trip to Mt. Rainier National Park this year. Didn't realize it but we did this same hike exactly 6 months ago to the day last November. It was quite a bit warmer today. We did the Trail of the Shadows counter clockwise and then took the Rampart Ridge Loop trail. Once back at Longmire we hiked up the Wonderland trail to the Nisqually river for a scenic riverside picnic. About 8.5 miles round trip was just about the right length. A fair amount of people out on the trail but not as bad as the summer crowds and still less people than many of the I-90 corridor hikes so it was nice to find some peace and quiet out there today. That's why we go to the mountains, to escape! A few snow patches on the Rampart Ridge trail between the viewpoint and the Wonderland trail but nothing that your average hiker couldn't cross with ease in just boots.
Chilly but beautiful day on the trail today. We started at Longmire and did the Trail of the Shadows first before heading up to Rampart Ridge. Views of the mountain were fantastic. Once back at Longmire, we hiked up the Wonderland trail toward Carter Falls and ate our lunch near the Nisqually where we had yet another great view of the mountain. A lot less people during the off-season even though it was a gorgeous day in a three day weekend. It was nice to not have to fight the crowds for a change. Frost but no snow the trail today.
I did this as a clockwise loop starting st the hotel. It was a gasser up the switchbacks right from the get go. Once over the top and past the viewpoint I got a great view of Mt. Raineer off the backside of the ridge. The loop came in at 5.3 miles with 1,400 feet of AEG in 2 and 1/2 hours.
First of hike of the year is always tough but we had great weather. Not as many people out as we expected with the nice weather. We hiked Trail of the Shadows first to warm up and were rewarded with a bunny sighting and also two deer. We hiked the loop clockwise which I think worked out good. Very little slow up until the Rainier viewpoint but the second half of the loop had long sections of snow. Didn't need to break out the micro spikes, boots were just fine. A couple steep snowy sections once you hit the Wonderland trail but not too bad. One big blown on that Wonderland section as well. It wasn't too difficult to get through it. A great start to our hiking year -- it had been too long since we were out on the trail.
average hiking speed 2.11 mph
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.