Trail of Shadows

The Trail of Shadows is a beautiful, short interpretive trail located just across the street from the main hub of Longmire. While it is only .7 miles in length, this trail is packed with neat sights to see and plenty of interpretive signs to read through. 

Location: Mount Rainier, Longmire area
Roundtrip: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Gain: 20 ft.

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The map pictured above shows only a small portion of the area around Longmire. Most notably, the Trail of Shadows has been highlighted. There are many other trails in the area to explore for almost all skill levels (from beginner to strenuous hikes). If you would like to see the full version of this map check the Resources below to find a printable PDF version!

If you hike the trail counter-clockwise, not long after departing Longmire you’ll come across a very short spur trail to the left. This short section leads to a nice view of the top of the mountain (if weather permits) as well as a glimpse of some evidence that Mount Rainier is, indeed, a live volcano. 

Take a few minutes to read the interpretive signs here and you’ll learn about this phenomenon. It was the bubbling waters in the area that made the Longmire hot springs possible!

There are a few other remnants of the past along the trail as well (which is why it’s called the “Trail of Shadows”!). Among these treasures, you’ll see what is left of a few of the stone fixtures located within the Longmire’s original hot springs as well as a small cabin from the same time period. 

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If you have any questions about this trail don’t hesitate to ask via the contact link located above! If you have an experience you’d like to share about this, or any other, trail please include it in the comments below!

Happy Trails!


Are There Toilets? : Restrooms can be found just across the street, in Longmire.

How about Picnic Tables? : There are a few picnic tables located in Longmire. They can be found near the General Store.

Do I Need a Parking Pass? : To gain access to Mount Rainier National Park you will either need a National Park Pass or a week-long pass. Both can be purchased at the Nisqually entrance. 

Are Dogs Allowed? : No. The National Park does not allow pets on trails within the Park’s boundaries. There is a small exception of leashed pets being allowed within Longmire itself, but it is likely best to leave pets at home. 

Can We Camp Here? : Cougar Rock Campground is located a few miles outside of Longmire. However, it is open only during the summer months. There are also a few campgrounds located in the area just outside the park’s entrance. 

When is the Best Time to Visit? : This trail is accessable year-round with very few exceptions. The main Nisqually gate and road to Longmire is almost always open (unless extreme winter weather interferes). 




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Longmire and Cougar Rock Area Map and Trail Descriptions PDF (NPS)

Mount Rainier NPS Website

Rainier Guest Services (National Park Inn)

10-Day Weather Forecast; Longmire


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