Hi friends! I wanted to check in quickly before my flight to Minneapolis because a few of you have asked about my instagram photo from yesterday. I went snowshoeing at Mount Rainier National Park and it was absolutely breathtaking. I’m starting to understand why people never want to leave the pacific northwest!
We totally lucked out with the weather. It was a sunny, wind-free, mildly chilly afternoon – perfect conditions for an adventure! Ideally, we wanted to snowshoe in the Paradise Area, but due to weather-related road closures, we were only able to access a snowshoe trail from the Longmire area.
We decided to tackle the Rampart Ridge Trail, a 4.6 mile loop. The website says that it should take about 2.5 hours to hike and 4 hours to snowshoe, but it took us about 5 hours to finish. That also included time to stop and jump through the snow (video below) and to eat lunch ← two very important things!
↑ I had to lighten this photo in order to see anything, but it was absolutely stunning!
We accidentally started at the wrong end of the trail (can you guess who was navigating?), so we didn’t see anyone else until about an hour or so into the hike. At one point, we stopped talking and just listened to pure silence. It was so quiet that I felt like I had noise-cancelling headphones on. I could tell that my brain was trying to process what the heck was going on!
The picture above is from the look-out point ↑. Although Mount Rainier was covered by fog, the view was still jaw-dropping.
↑ Look how high the snow is!
For anyone interested in planning their own snowshoeing adventure in Mount Rainier National Park, check out my tips below:
- Check twitter to see what roads are open/closed. If you have a 2WD car, I believe you need to have chains on your tires.
- Be prepared! We shed a lot of layers throughout the day. I had a hat and an ear warmer that I switched between. I also took my jacket off and put it back on a few times. Snow pants and warm boots are also a must!
- Hand warmers (they feel amazing as the sun starts to go down.)
- Plenty of water and food
- First aid kit
- Snowshoes – or you can rent them from the Longmire General Store
- Hot water and blankets for when you return to the car 🙂
The sun went down quickly and the parking lot filled up fast, so I recommend arriving as early as you can. I do not recommend navigating the trail in the dark. We left at 8:30AM and made it onto the trail around 11AM. By the time we got back to the car around 4:30PM, the sun was almost gone and it was starting to get really cold.
There are a few bars on the way back – we stopped in for some boozy hot chocolate that totally hit the spot! Plus, it was fun to check out a local joint 🙂
And for your viewing pleasure, here is my pathetic attempt to frolic through the snow. It’s A LOT harder than it looks!