Weekend Getaway for May 14


WHAT: The Longmire area at Mount Rainier National is packed with easy walks suitable for the entire family, including the self-guided Trail of the Shadows nature walk. Twin Falls Loop Trail, 2 miles west of Longmire, is also an easy walk, less than a half-mile long and perfect for young hikers. For more of a challenge, try the steep 4.5-mile Rampart Ridge Trail. Some years, the trail cannot be hiked without snowshoes this early in the season. This year, the trail has been passable most of the winter and spring.

WHERE: Longmire, Mount Rainier National Park.

HISTORY: James Longmire struck a mineral claim here next to Soda Springs.

GETTING THERE: Take state Route 7 to Elbe and continue on state Route 706 into the park to Longmire.

COST: A $15 fee per vehicle is required to enter Mount Rainier National Park if you do not have a season pass. The pass is good for seven days.

OF NOTE: The Trail of the Shadows winds for less than 1 mile on the edge of the forest. Along the way you will see an early homestead cabin, as well as a variety of plants and animals. Good views can be had from the top of Rampart Ridge. The Wonderland Trail is also easily accessed from Longmire.

INFORMATION: 360-569-2211, nps.gov/mora. Maps can be found at the park entrance and at the Longmire visitor center.