A moderately-challenging snowshoe route in Mount Rainier National Park with some avalanche danger in times of heavy snow. Check the avalanche reports before heading out, and know that while some snowshoe routes follow summer trails, they are not always clearly marked when under snow. You will need a map and navigation skills to do this route in winter.
The route departs from the Longmire area of Rainier. From the parking area near the Longmire building complex (including restrooms, a museum and a hotel), cross the road and link up with the the Trail of the Shadows. Turn left, and walk for about 0.1 miles to a junction with the Rampart Ridge Trail.
The Trail of the Shadows is a nice fallback, which you can hike if there is too much snow to do the Rampart Ridge snowshoe. But if you're heading up to Rampart Ridge, turn left here and start switchbacking uphill. It's 1.6 miles to the top of the ridge (which can be really tiring in snowshoes), and then another 1 mile to a junction with the Wonderland Trail.
You'll turn right at this junction and head downhill on much steeper terrain than you came up (you might want trekking poles as well as snowshoes). It's 1.7 miles back down to the road and another 0.1 to the parking area.