• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Rampart Ridge Trail

Trail route from Longmire to Ramparts Ridge/ SW.
Map of the Rampart Ridge Trail route from Longmire.  Use of a topographic map of the area is recommended.
 

Trail Description:

Distance, round-trip:

4.6 miles

Elevation gain:

1339 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

2.5 hours

Wilderness camps:

None

To connect with the trailhead to Rampart Ridge, begin at the west end of the Trail of the Shadows Nature Trail located across the road from the National Park Inn.

Also known as "The Ramparts," this ridge is the remnant of an ancient lava flow which originated at the summit of Mount Rainier.



The loop can be hiked in either direction, but going clockwise keeps Mount Rainier in front more of the time and is thus recommended. The hike begins steeply as the trail leads through dense forest to the top of the ridge. Once on the ridgetop it is 1.3 miles of relatively level hiking before starting the descent along the Wonderland Trail back to Longmire.


Along the Trail:


Listen for the tapping of the woodpeckers or the booming of the grouse. Keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife. Notice the various mosses and lichen clinging to the trees. Opportunities abound for enjoying the forest community. On a clear day, hikers are also rewarded with excellent views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually River Valley from two viewpoints atop the ridge.


Backpacking:


There is no designated camp along this trail nor atop Rampart Ridge. Crosscountry camping opportunities exist for skilled minimum impact backpackers who wish a primitive camping experience. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available at park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Treat water before drinking. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails.

Did You Know?

The toe of Carbon Glacier appears dirty as it is covered in silt. Mount Rainier is in the background.

Carbon Glacier, on the north side of Mount Rainier, comes to the lowest elevation of any glacier in the lower 48 states at 3500 feet. It is also Mount Rainier's thickest glacier, one section being nearly 700 feet thick.