Trail of Shadows, Longmire - Trail of Shadows Trailhead, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Trail of Shadows - .8 miles

Longmire - Trail of Shadows Trailhead

The Trail of Shadows is an interpretive loop - great for people of all abilities

The Trail of Shadows is an interpretive loop - great for people of all abilities

Round-Trip Length: .8 miles
Start-End Elevation: 2,725' - 2,725' (Max elevation 2,740')
Elevation Change: +0 net elevation change (+50' total roundtrip elevation change)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Trail of Shadows - .8 Miles Round-Trip

The Trail of Shadows is an easy .8 mile interpretive loop trail located across the road from the Longmire Visitor Center in Mount Rainier National Park. Along the way, informational signs illustrate the human, geological and ecological history of the special Longmire area. 

Mineral springs are the hallmark of the Trail of Shadows loop and they can still be seen and heard bubbling up carbon dioxide gas from deep within the earth. 

The trail rounds the border of a deep marsh and meadow area where beaver and the rare Cascade Fox can be seen.

Rugged Ridge looms over the meadows and at .6 miles, the trail splits with the Rugged Ridge Trail.

For those seeking a longer, more arduous adventure, the Rugged Ridge Loop is an excellent option.

After the Rugged Ridge split, the trail crosses two scenic foot bridges before returning to the Longmont Visitor Center area.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N46 44.988 W121 48.826 — 0.0 miles: Trail of Shadows Trailhead at Longmire
  • N46 45.024 W121 48.953 — 0.6 miles: Rampart Ridge Trail split - stay straight

Worth Noting

  • The Trail of Shadows contains several natural mineral springs whereby carbon dioxide gas is released. Please admire these bubbling springs from a safe distance and never put your hands in the water.
  • The parking area at Longmire can fill up quickly, please arrive early to avoid crowds.
  • For those seeking a longer adventure, try the Rampart Ridge Loop which splits from the Trail of Shadows at .6 miles (or .2 miles clockwise).
  • The Trail of Shadows loop can be done in either direction, however, the NPS signs direct you counter-clockwise.

Camping and Backpacking Information

No camping is available on the Trail of Shadows Trail.

Fishing Information

No fishing is available on the Trail of Shadows Trail.

Rules and Regulations

The following items or activities are prohibited on the trails and in the backcountry of Mount Rainier National Park:
  • fire (stoves ok)
  • pets (except on the Pacific Crest Trail - must be leashed)
  • bicycles
  • use of firearms
  • bow/arrows, slingshot, etc.
  • destroying or disturbing any natural, cultural, or archeological feature
  • feeding, disturbing, or hunting wildlife
  • short cutting on any trail
  • polluting or contaminating any water source (with soap, waste, etc.)
  • disposing of human waste within 100 feet of water or within sight of a trail
  • camping within 100 feet of water except in a designated campsite.

Directions to Trailhead

From the Nysqually Entrance Station, drive 10.4 miles on Longmire - Paradise Road to the Longmire Visitor Center Complex. Park at Longmire and walk across the street from the National Park inn and look for the Trail of Shadows signs.

Contact Information

Mount Rainier National Park Headquarters
360-569-2211 Phone
360-569-2177 TDD
Park Information
Lost and Found

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"We took our 7 year old and 11 year old . We were pressed for time so this trail was perfect for us. July is perfect for this trail but put on a sweater when you go up the mountain."
Melissia Hess  -  Knoxville Tn  -  Date Posted: November 4, 2016


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