Gateway to Mt. Rainier via the Nisqually entrance, Longmire is the first historic stop just 6.4 miles from the entrance to the park. Established as the park’s first headquarters in 1899, Longmire’s enclave of historic buildings features a tiny museum, the historic National Park Inn with a full-service restaurant, a small general store, and the Longmire Wilderness Information Center.
If kids need to stretch their legs, explore the Trail of the Shadows loop trail across the road from the Inn, where you’ll find an early homestead cabin and mineral springs. If you’re visiting in summer, however, consider bee-lining to Jackson Visitor Center to ensure a parking spot.
Longmire is open daily year-round, and makes a good stop if you’re traveling off-season or are here for winter snow play. The National Park Inn is also open year-round.