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Rampart Ridge Loop

Difficulty: easy

4.8 miles

Elevation gain: 1470'

Max elevation: 4100'

Camps: none

First hiked by me: 2019

Rampart Ridge is a straightforward loop hike beginning at Longmire. Its eastern side is also the start of the Indian Henry's from Longmire Wonderland Trail section, and of Mildred Point via Rampart Ridge. It overlaps with part of Trail of the Shadows.

Most of the trail is through forest, which is splendidly lush and rainforesty at the lower elevations. Along the way there's a nice overlook of the buildings at Longmire, and a short open section with a great view up the valley of Kautz Creek toward Rainier's summit. I recommend hiking the loop clockwise so you'll be facing toward the best view at this spot.

Rampart Ridge was created by lava flows that ran down the top of an existing ridge at a time when the valleys were full of glaciers. Along its sides are cliffs with distinctive rock patterns, formed when lava cooled rapidly after coming in contact with ice.

Due to its lower altitude, this hike is sometimes accessible during the off-season when higher trails are snowed in. It also makes a good snowshoe route: just beware avalanche risk across the short open section.

View from the open section along Rampart Ridge

Pay attention to avalanche danger before crossing this short section!

Lower parts of the trail are lush and rainforesty

Ent in the snow

Distinctive cliffs formed where lava flowed past a glacier-filled valley