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 2.17 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.