Rampart Ridge Loop

Rampart Ridge Loop in Mount Rainier National Park is an easy-to-moderate 4.5 mi and 1,300 foot elevation gain day hike in summer and snowshoe trip in winter. Travel through old growth forest to a ridge with views of the Nisqually Valley and (on a clear day) Mount Rainier itself.

getting there

From SR 7 in Elbe, turn east onto SR 706, both known as the National Park Highway. Continue through the Nisqually Entrance of Mount Rainier National Park. Be prepared to pay the fee just after entering the park. Drive 6.5 miles to Longmire (2,750 ft).

In winter, ALL drivers in the park are required to carry snow chains or equivalent traction devices—this includes those with a 4-wheel or  all-wheel drive vehicle. If you go beyond Longmire, those without a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle may be required to install them at Longmire or beyond.

on the trail

Start on the Trail of Shadows nature trail, then turn onto the Rampart Ridge Trail after ~0.25 mile to hike this loop clockwise. The trail switchbacks uphill, reaching the ridgetop in ~2 miles. Continue along the ridge until it intersects the Wonderland Trail. Turn right and hike back to Longmire to complete the loop on the Wonderland Trail.

notes

  • Since the Rampart Ridge Trail starts from Longmire, it is usually accessible even if the road uphill to Paradise is closed in winter. So it makes for a good "Plan B" snowshoe trip.
  • Suitable Activities: Backcountry Skiing, Day Hiking, Snowshoeing
  • Snowshoeing Category: Intermediate
  • Seasons: Year-round
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 4.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft
  • 4,080 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
Map
  • Green Trails Mount Rainier Wonderland No. 269S
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269
  • Trails Illustrated Mount Rainier National Park
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