With the establishment of Mount Rainier National Park in 1899, Longmire became park headquarters. The site had previously served as James Longmire's homestead, lodging, and mineral springs resort. Although park headquarters are no longer at Longmire, the original 1916 headquarters building houses a museum that tells the story of the early days of the park. Across the street from the museum, the "newer" Longmire Administration Building, completed in 1930, still holds offices for park staff and is home to the Longmire Wilderness Information Center (current park administration offices are located at Tahoma Woods, outside of the park along SR 706). All of Longmire is now designated a National Historic District. Longmire is located in the southwest corner of the park and is 6.5 miles (10.5 km) east of the Nisqually Entrance.
Watch Visit Longmire: Gateway to Mount Rainier for a short video introduction to the Longmire area. The article, Longmire: Designing a National Park Syle, provides an overview of the history of the area. You might also consider visiting other parts of the park such as Paradise, Sunrise, Ohanapecosh, and the Carbon River-Mowich Lake areas.
Longmire is open year-round. Check Operating Hours and Seasons for current schedule of facilities in the area. NOTE: Many facilities are closed or have limited hours due to COVID-19 health precautions. Learn more about the park's response in the COVID-19 Visitor Guide for Healthy Access.
Always check the Road Status page for current information about road access to Longmire and other park areas. During the winter, the road to Paradise from Longmire is closed nightly. Check Twitter for current gate open/close status and other advisories (a Twitter account not required to view).
Cougar Rock Campground and picnic area, 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Longmire, is usually open from late May to early October.
Westside Road - Begins 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Nisqually Entrance. Road is closed to vehicles beyond the gate at Dry Creek, but accessible for biking and walking. Watch the Mount Rainier Experience: Biking the Westside Road video for a tour of this area!
Christine Falls - Located 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Longmire, a short walk from the pullout offers a classic view of the falls below the rustic stone bridge. Be aware that parking is limited. For your safety, do not walk or stop your car on the bridge.
Glacier Bridge - 5 miles (8 km) from Longmire heading towards Paradise. The tall bridge has excellent views of the Nisqually Valley, though the Nisqually Glacier, which once reached the location of the bridge, has since retreated up the valley.
Ricksecker Point Road - This one-way road begins 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Longmire and offers fantastic views of Mount Rainier, Nisqually Valley, and the Tatoosh Range. (The Ricksecker Point Road is open in summer only.)
Historic District Walking Tour (self-guided)
Trail of the Shadows (0.7 mi/1.1 km)
Twin Firs Trail (0.4 mi/0.6 km)
Carter Falls Trail (2 mi/3.2 km)
Rampart Ridge Trail (4.6 mi/7.4 km)
Narada Falls Trail (9 mi/14.5 km)
Eagle Peak Trail (7 mi/11.3 km)
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There are many ways to experience Mount Rainier National Park. Most visitors explore the park in vehicles or on foot, but why not by bike? Most of Westside Road is closed to vehicles, but is open to bicycling and hiking. Ride through old-growth forest, visit a historic ranger cabin and stonework bridges, and pause to remember the long history of the mountain.
Last updated: October 29, 2020