Mount Rainier Area
Type of HikeSnowshoe/XC Ski
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
RoadRoad suitable for all vehicles
SnowTrail snow-covered at times - gear and expertise recommended
The West Side Road is a great option for early morning snowshoeing, since the gate at Longmire is closed until at least 9:00 am. I started with a headlamp at 6:00 am at the gate, on frozen gravel. After less than a half mile, the snow starts to cover the road. I chose to wait until the first washout (about 3-1/2 miles) before putting on my snowshoes. Shortly after that, mine were the only human tracks. (Love that!) After 6 miles I stopped at Tahoma Point and turned around in about 6-7" of snow in the open areas. No huge views, but peaceful solitude, beautiful snow, and a good workout. Back to the car at 11:00 am. to get home to my sweetie.