Place

Wonderland Trail: Longmire Trailhead

Stone steps lead into a trail through a dense stand of trees.
The Longmire trailhead for the Wonderland Trail is a popular entry for backpackers and day hikers.

NPS/M. Reis

Quick Facts
Location:
Longmire

Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Water - Bottle-Filling Station

Season: Summer (May - October)
Longmire is open year-round, but this trail can be hazardous in winter. 
 

This popular trailhead in Longmire serves as the primary starting point for the Wonderland Trail. The Wonderland Trail is a 93-mile loop trail that encircles Mount Rainier and has several trailheads throughout the park. Since its original construction in 1915, thousands of visitors make the trip to Mount Rainier to hike this trail every summer. 

Starting from the stone steps across from the lawn in front of the Longmire Wilderness Information Center, a moderately steep 0.1-mile trail spur ascends to a junction where the Wonderland Trail loop begins. 

To the north, the Wonderland Trail makes a short descent to cross the Paradise Road, and then ascends sharply. About 1.9 miles along this section, the trail meets the junction for Rampart Ridge, a moderate trail that connects back to Longmire through the Trail of the Shadows. Past this junction, the Wonderland Trail continues to Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground and eventually to Golden Lakes. 

To the east, the Wonderland Trail meanders parallel to the Nisqually River with a gentle incline. This section leads to Cougar Rock Campground in 1.4 miles, which is the primary campground in the southwestern region of the park. Reservations are advised for camping at Cougar Rock Campground. 

Because Longmire and the immediate area are at a lower elevation on the mountain, the trail can be clear enough of snow to easily navigate in May and June. However, there may be lingering patches of snow due to shading from the trees and winter storms may have caused fallen trees and other early-season hazards.  

The trail is dirt, broken at times by tree roots and rocks. Shortly after snow has melted and any time after rainfall, these trails can be very muddy. Please stay on trail to reduce impact to the forest floor, and practice Leave No Trace principles at all times.  

While Longmire is open year-round, snow can make this trail hazardous in winter. Winter hikers and snowshoers must have experience with navigation.
 

Backpacking  

Permits are required for camping. Due to high demand during the summer season, it is strongly recommended to make a wilderness permit reservation if you are planning to hike the Wonderland Trail. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Hikers doing the complete Wonderland Trail are limited to camping in designated camps only - the use of cross-country zones is not permitted. The closest camps for the Wonderland Trail traveling clockwise are Pyramid Creek, followed by Devil’s Dream. Traveling counterclockwise, the closest camps are Cougar Rock Campground followed by Paradise River Camp. Treat water before drinking. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. 

Mount Rainier National Park

Last updated: January 12, 2024