- This trail forms a loop that begins in Longmire, ascends Rampart Ridge and follows it for a short distance before descending back to Longmire. The total distance of this loop is four and a half miles, with a 1,420-foot elevation gain. The route provides views of Mt. Rainier, the Nisqually River valley, Eagle Peak and the Kautz Creek Valley.
Begin this hike from the Longmire Complex. Park your vehicle in one of many parking areas and cross Longmire - Paradise Road to the Trail of the Shadows interpretive trail. Follow this short trail to the left to reach the beginning of Rampart Ridge Trail.
From the trailhead the track begins to ascend steeply. Over the course of the next 1.7 miles the trail uses switchbacks to ascend to the crest of Rampart Ridge. Along the last switchback the forest opens and you'll see Tumtum Peak to the west across the Kautz Creek drainage.
At the top of the switchbacks is a spur trail leading left to an overlook of Mt. Rainier. Back on the main trail you begin a one and a half mile traverse of Rampart Ridge. This portion of the trail is a relatively level jaunt through the diverse forest community.
Nearing the end of this ridge line hike you'll reach a junction with the Wonderland Trail. Bear right and begin walking along the Wonderland Trail. In a few minutes you'll reach another junction. The trail leading to the left ends at Van Trump Park after following Rampart Ridge three and a half miles.
Beyond this second junction the trail begins to descend from the ridge into the Nisqually River valley. The route follows long switchbacks that ease hikers into the valley 680 below the ridge. The trail leads southward for another half mile before crossing Longmire - Paradise Road into the Longmire Complex.