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Mt. Rainier National Park Snowshoeing Trails

Between Nisqually Entrance & Longmire | At Longmire | Between Longmire & Paradise | At Paradise


BETWEEN NIQUALLY ENTRANCE & LONGMIRE

TrailDescription of HikeTrailhead LocationDistanceHiking Difficulty
Westside Road This road accesses 13 miles of varied terrain through devastation view sheds, virgin forest, waterfalls, beaver dams, mountain goat ridges and of course the silence of the snow. First left near the park entrance gateN.A. Gradual uphill - Moderate
Lower Kautz This trail has a great view of Success Peak and Mt. Rainier. Snowshoe the Kautz Creek trail as it winds up the mountain fairly level up to the new mini canyon crossings. Kautz Creek beyond the first mile - Easy crossing foot log bridges into fabulous maidenhair ferns and evergreen forest. The trail continues through the forest and uphill for about 3 miles before opening to steep snowfields. Views of the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise appear then off to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground. Eat lunch on the Cabin porch. 3.3 miles from the entrance6 miles each way Moderate to Steep
Twin Firs Loop This short four tenths of a mile loop trail is perfect for snowshoeing. Twin Firs trail is a treasure at Mt. Rainier showcasing the giant trees of an Old Growth Forest.4.4 miles from the entrance.4 miles, loop trail Easy

AT LONGMIRE

TrailDescription of HikeTrailhead LocationDistanceHiking Difficulty
Trail of the Shadows Located at Longmire, with year-round heated restrooms. Pick up the self interpret pamphlet at the trail entrance. This trail is full of beauty and history forming a loop around the original James Longmire family homestead claim. The Longmire family found bubbling minerals in this area and believed that it was a source of healing. Snow Shoe this trail counterclockwise to see the minerals still bubbling in a rock pool. Pass by a small cabin built in 1888 by Longmire's son, a mineral bathing area, and as you snow shoe toward the back of the loop look across the snow field for the view of Mt Rainier. This short .7 of a mile trail lets you wander through dark forest, with what seems like dripping moss from old growth trees, and massive root wads placing strong ora of human insignificance. 6.3 miles from the entrance 0.7 miles Easy
Rampart Ridge Loop Trail This trail is great for enjoying the forest and also a good workout. Snowshoe up switchbacks through the forest reaching the ridge top with a nice over view of Longmire on the South side and Mt. Rainier and Kautz drainage on the north side of the ridge. This loop descends through another beautiful forested area with many different types of Lichen, a boggy open feeling through quiet inner forest boardwalks covered in snow. The trail comes down to the Paradise Road crossing where you will want to continue by crossing over the road and down the last four tenths of a mile to Longmire parelling the road. 6.7 miles from the entrance N.A. A good workout
Eagle Peak Located across the Nisqually Bridge at Longmire, this 7 mile round trip trail will give you a miraculous view of Mount Rainier from a high saddle on the west end of the Tatoosh Range. Most of this trail consists of forest, smooth trail with a steady grade. Two miles in, you will find a small stream, the last water. Right around three miles the good trail ends below a snowfield. 6.3 miles from the entrance 7 miles, roundtrip Moderate

BETWEEN LONGMIRE & PARADISE

TrailDescription of HikeTrailhead LocationDistanceHiking Difficulty
Longmire to Cougar Rock This hike gradually climbs in and out of dense forest near the road to overlook a new view shed of the Nisqually River. The trail will cross the road to Paradise ending at great open sun loops in Cougar Rock Camp Ground. (The campground is closed for camping, but open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing) Leave from the Hiker's CenterN.A. N.A.
Carter & Madcap Falls You can access the trail from the top at Narada Falls if the foot log across the Niqually River has washed out. Many sights to see along the way make sure not to miss the huge rock, as you follow the Paradise River drainage. Both Carter Falls & Madcap Falls with their rushing white water and ice crystals are a delight to see. The trail continues through the forest to the Paradise River Camp and up to Narada Falls. A log crossing over the Nisqually River and Mountain ViewN.A. Moderate + or -
Comet Falls Trailhead Uphill to the bridge three quarters of a mile enjoy the always-flowing Van Trump Creek and ice sickles. Be awed by the spectacular carved out rock by Mother Nature and the power that flows beneath your feet. After crossing the bridge the trail continues uphill following the drainage through the forest to a steep side slope where you turn around. Do not cross this avalanche slope as the bridge beyond is usually washed out before the falls.N.A.N.A. Moderate
Narada Falls There are year round heated restrooms at the Narada Falls parking area. The power of Paradise River overlook truly entices the steep short hike to the bottom to view Narada Falls dropping 168 feet, with giant ice sickles 8.7 miles beyond LongmireN.A. Moderate
Reflection Lakes There are four lakes here, but once the snow arrives, you will need to snow shoe or cross country ski in to see them. If it's Mt. Rainiers reflection you're after, look for the rock wall and continue east all the way to the end of it. Here you will find a beautiful snow covered lake, or reflection - depending on the month. Start at the Narada Falls Parking Area or ParadiseN.A. Moderate
Pinnacle Peak Saddle - Tatoosh Range Once you actually start snow shoeing the trail to the Saddle, it is only 2.6 miles round trip (see how to access this trailhead in the next column). And you will get wonderful views of not only Mt. Rainier but Mt. Adams and the Tatoosh Mountain Range. A great trail to experience just how vast a mountain range surrounds and encompasses you. Access via Mazama Ridge - to the Lakes Trail - or from Narada Falls or Stevens CanyonN.A. Moderate to Strenuous

AT PARADISE

The Paradise Area is one huge trail, one massive blanket of snow! Plus, year-round heated restrooms.

TrailDescription of HikeTrailhead LocationDistanceHiking Difficulty
Nisqually Vista Loop From this trail you will view the snout of the Nisqually Glacier. Snow shoeing this trail first gives you a chance to acclimate before experiencing Paradise. Behind the Jackson Visitor Center 1 mile loop Relatively Easy
Skyline Trail This is the main trail at Paradise, with panoramic views of Mt. Rainier, the Tatoosh Range, goat rocks, wilderness, the Nisqually River Valley, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. Many alternate trails branch off. The Skyline trail is used by those who go to Camp Muir or the Summit of Mt. Rainier. The uphill 1400' elevation grade is definitely worth it, awesome views, blankets of snow, frozen waterfalls, glaciers, and glistening snowfields. At Paradise 5.5 miles A very good workout
Myrtle Falls You can snow shoe this trail for ½ of a mile where you will view the Paradise Valley, Sluskin Falls across to Mazama Ridge, and the icy Myrtle Falls flowing from Edith Creek. Intersects the Skyline Trail from the right near the Paradise Inn .5 miles Easy
Camp Muir To reach Camp Muir, you must take the Skyline Trail 1.5 mile to Panorama Point (6900'). Next is Pebble Creek (7200'), which is where the Muir Snowfield begins and you ascend to Camp Muir at 10,000'. While you are snow shoeing this glorious trail, you will get views of many mountains such as Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and possibly Mt. Jefferson in Central Oregon. Much caution should be taken with this climb, but well worth it. At Paradise N.A. Strenuous
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