Mt Rainier National Park Snowshoe Trails: Read descriptions below.
Westside Road park at the road and head up - 13 miles if you can, but 3 miles is great each way.
Kautz Creek 2 miles gets steep after the first mile.
Twin Firs Loop & Trail of the Shadows at Longmire are easy with children.
Rampart Ridge from Longmire - great if the road is closed to Paradise.
The Wonderland Trail access to Carter Falls is great alternative also when the gate is closed. There is also the old campground with level loops in the trees when it is snowing at Longmire.
Carter Falls Cross over the river beautiful in the snow head to the trail to the falls following the Paradise River.
The tree canopy when you look up is spectacular!
Across the street from Carter Falls is Cougar Rock Campground with level loops for snow shoeing or cross country skiing.
Narada Falls to Reflection Lake can loop back around, but heading out Stevens Canyon and back is perfect.
Barn Flats is special in the Winter since there are no trails to the area in the summer. Since the ground is snow covered and access moderate it's a great new place to explore.
Paradise Area is your hearts desire with varied options for abilites + guide snow shoe walks and cross country skiing.
Mazama Ridge is moderate to steep up but once on top levels out and amazing views.
Nisqually Vista Loop Trail - guided or not easy loop to view the Nisqually Galcier
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Starting from the Nisqually Entrance (open all Year) Ashford, WA 98304
Westside Road: 1 mile from the Entrance Great lower elevation road / trail. Westside road is open to vehicles to dry Creek (3 miles). Access to the Wonderland Trail, Lake George, Tahoma Creek. Mountain Biking is superior here for access to the North Puyallup, Klapatchee Point and St. Andrews Lake Very quiet, scenic, and away from many tourists.
Kautz Creek: First mile 300 ft (easy) elevation gain - cross over the small drainage into old growth forest then sunny meadows. The trail gets steeper after the first mile. Access to Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground and backcountry cabin 6 miles each way - Additional side trip to Mirror Lake (beautiful Reflection of Mt Rainier) You can turn around at anytime.
Twin Firs loop Trail: ¾ mile loop of old growth forest. (Easy)
Rampart Ridge - Trail of the Shadows: (Longmire - Restrooms)
Trail of the Shadows is an easy loop interpretive pamphlet guides you around. Rampart Ridge is a bit steep on both sides of the trail and flat across the top of the ridge. View of Mt Rainier from the back ridge - View of Longmire from the South Ridge
Trail to Cougar Rock Campground or Cater Falls from the Longmire administration Building. The trail is easy to moderate and follows the river with a lot of tree canopy.
Carter Falls: Trailhead is just below Cougar Rock Campground. (moderate) Cross over the Nisqaully River on a foot log -access to Madcap Falls, Paradise River Camp, Narada Falls and Reflection Lake
Eagle Peak: Moderate to steep - Tree lined the first couple miles. There is a great view at the top of Eagle Peak of Mt Rainier. Access is through the Longmire Housing area across the Nisqually River
Christine Falls Overlook & Comet Falls: Just before the overlook is the Trail for Comet Falls (moderate to steep) The first ¼ mile takes you to the upper Christine crossing with some incredible carved rock formations continue on to Comet Falls about 2 miles. Van Trump Park is beyond the falls a bit steep, but views of Mt St Helens and mountain meadows. There is a good chance of seeing mountain goats - if you head out toward the Van Trump Glacier. Side trip to Mildred Point - it’s like a picture in the Sound of Music.
Narada Falls overlook: (Restrooms) ¼ mile trail down to the falls - paved a bit steep Occasionally a beautiful rainbow appears and a refreshing spray.
Paradise: Endless views of Mt Rainier varied trails for all. Access to Camp Muir, Mazama Ridge, and the Lakes Trail Dead Horse Creek, Glacier View, Skyline Trail Nisqually Vista Loop Trail has a great view of the Nisqaully Glacier (Easy to Moderate) Perfect for snowshoeing. Cross Country Skiing and Snow Shoeing is a full filling day at Paradise. Wildflowers prettier than any picture or snow drifts taller than the Inn The first hour is acclimatizing so hang in there.
Stevens Canyon Road & Trails
Inspiration Point View turnout - Reflection Lake best photo time is usually early in the morning or later in the evening. There is typically wind on the lake during the day. Sometimes when the clouds hang around at Paradise the Mountain will be showing at Reflection Lake. Access to Faraway Rock and loop around the lake (Easy)
Pinnacle Peak: As Sally would say - this is a great lunch destination. The trail steadily climbs to the saddle through trees and some shale. When you reach the saddle 1.3 miles you have a spectacular view of Mt Rainier to the North and Mt Adams of the South. Good chance of seeing Mountain Goats and lots of Marmots and Pica’s. You can explore Pinnacle Peak or the Tatoosh Range - climbing higher to view Mt St Helens.
Bench Lake - Snow Lake Trail: Fairy Falls can be seen from the parking area across the Canyon toward the right side of the Mountain. Bench Lake is the warmest swimming lake in the park and Snow Lake speaks for it’s self. Great view of Mt Rainier from the far side of the lakes. Mostly open meadow hiking until Snow Lake. There is a backcountry camp at Snow Lake.
Photo Opps Very interesting snow slide at Stevens Creek Bridge also a hidden waterfall at the far end of the bridge.
Martha Falls - Box Canyon - Falls Creek
Backbone Ridge Mountain View Pullout
Mt Adams is seen in the distance along the way.
Grove of the Patriarchs: Up to one thousand year old trees on an island surrounded by the Ohanapecosh River (Ohanapecosh meaning: clear water - or standing at the edge) Follow the trail through the gentle giants to the suspension bridge cross over and walk the boardwalk to a Western Red Cedar thirty - eight feet in circumference. (Easy)
Silver Falls: Ohanapecosh Camp Ground starts the loop trail to Silver Falls. I mighty powerful fall in the Ohana River. There is also a short cut on Hwy 123 the pull out for the Three Lakes Trail is where you park and head down the hill half a mile. The short cut is three tenths of a mile from the Stevens Canyon Entrance
Loop back through Packwood (Grocery Store) on the Skate Creek Road. Turn right between the Cowlitz River Lodge and the gas station just as you come into Packwood. Skate Creek is curvy, very scenic with dips and broken road in some places so go slow and enjoy the view.
Many of these trails cross over to cross country ski too.
When it rains many of these trails have great tree cover in the lower elevations.