• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Comet Falls Trail Section Closed Temporarily Due to Hazardous Trail Condition

A deep washout in the Comet Falls Trail prevents passage.
A deep washout (approx. 10 ft across/30 ft deep) has created unstable and hazardous conditions along Comet Falls Trail.
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: June 12, 2012

Superintendent Randy King has announced that the Comet Falls Trail has been temporarily closed to public use 1 mile beyond the trailhead, due to an extremely hazardous condition on the trail. A substantial washout, approximately 10 ft. across and 30 ft. deep, made worse with the recent rains over the past several weeks, has created unstable conditions which has undermined the trail approximately 1 mile from the trailhead. Snow and ice in the area of the washout adds to the hazard, especially if a hiker were to attempt to walk around the washout. It should also be noted that snow and ice conditions all along the trail are hazardous to travel even before getting to the washout area. Next week, it is anticipated that the park tail crew will access this area to begin building a safe route around the washout. Public notice will be given when the trail is again open for hiking.

Hikers in Mount Rainier National Park should be aware that late snow and ice from the winter still persists on trails at the park's higher elevations. Hikers need to use caution and good judgment as steep slopes covered with snow and ice will be very slippery or unstable, and streams and rivers are running fast and high as runoff is occurring at its maximum levels. Also, as the winter snow melts back, trail damage, washed out bridges, or other unknown hazards may be uncovered before the park crews can repair them. 

Trail conditions are continuously being updated on park's website. Check the park website or contact Park Rangers to get information on current trail conditions before hiking in the park. 

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Did You Know?

A woman stands between towering snowbanks in 1971, when there were record snowfalls.

1,122 inches, or 93.5 feet (28.5 meters), of snow fell at Paradise over the winter of 1971-1972, setting the world record at the time for measured snowfall in a single year. More...