The trail begins directly across the road from the Longmire Inn and loops around a marshy bog created by the mineral springs that burble out of the meadow. The path brings you close to a couple of the springs and when the trail nears the stream alongside the meadow, you’ll find a few beaver dams. Halfway through the loop, you’ll pass in front of a tiny log cabin, built in 1888 by Elcaine Longmire, James’s son. The trail passes a junction with the Rampart Ridge Trail on the right just before closing the mile-long loop.
A short and sweet hike in addition to touring camp Longmire. The museum features glass cases filled with plants and animals, including a stuffed cougar. Historical photographs and geographical displays provide a worthwhile overview of the park’s history. The adjacent visitor center has some perfunctory exhibits on the surrounding forest and its inhabitants.
During the summer this is a fun little rest stop and a nice prelude of things to come deeper into the park. Because of its relatively low elevation at 2,760 feet, Longmire is one of the few areas of Mount Rainier National Park which remains accessible year-round. During winters of heavy snowfall, three to five feet of snow may cover the ground. This is great for snowshoers and novice skiers when blizzard conditions exist higher on the mountain.