Longmire is seven miles from the Nisqually entrance in the southwest corner of the park. Named for James Longmire, whose Longmire Springs Resort first attracted large numbers of travelers to the park, Longmire is home to the National Park Inn (housed in an old Longmire Mineral Springs Resort building), and the Longmire Museum (360/569-2211 ext. 3314, daily 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) one of the oldest national park museums in existence.
The small museum—located in the original park headquarters—contains displays on the park’s natural history, along with exhibits of basketry, a small totem pole, and photos from the early days of the park. Nearby is a small transportation history museum inside the historic Longmire Gas Station.
Several nearby hiking trails cover the gamut, from easy strolls through the woods to steep mountain climbs. The Wilderness Information Center at Longmire (360/569-4453, June–mid-Oct. daily 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.) can provide you with all the options.
Less than a mile in length, the Trail of the Shadows takes you on a stroll around the meadow where Longmire’s resort stood, with views of the mountain. A longer loop hike continues from here up Rampart Ridge to a majestic view over the Nisqually River far below, and then joins the Wonderland Trail. Follow this back to Longmire for a total distance of five miles.
More adventurous hikers can climb the many switchbacks to the summit of 5,958-foot Eagle Peak, a distance of seven miles round-trip. The route passes through a wide range of vegetation, from dense old-growth stands along the Nisqually River to flowery alpine meadows offering extraordinary vistas across to Mt. Rainier. The mountain-encircling Wonderland Trail also passes through Longmire, making this a favorite starting point for backcountry hikes of varying lengths.