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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Aug 4-5 Night Road Closure between Nisqually Entrance and Longmire

    Due to major road work the Nisqually Rd will be closed, 9:30 pm to 4:30 am, from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. On Aug 4-5 and if necessary Aug 6, no traffic will enter or exit the park via the Nisqually Road. Use Stevens Canyon Road during closure. More »

  • Nisqually to Paradise Delays

    Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. More »

Comet Falls Trail

Trail route from Nisqually Road below Christine Falls to Comet Falls.
Map of the Comet Falls Trail route from Nisqually Road below Christine Falls. Use of a topographic map is recommended.
 

Trail Description:


Comet Falls

Trump Park

Distance, round-trip:

3.8 miles

5.8 miles

Elevation gain:

900 feet

2000 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

3 hours

5 hours

Wilderness camps:

No

No

The Comet Falls trailhead is located four miles east of Longmire on the road toward Paradise. Parking space is limited and often full. There is no more parking nearby, so have an alternate hike in mind.

One of the highest waterfalls in the park, Comet Falls was named because it resembles the tail of a comet. Or so some thought! Van Trump Park honors P. B. Van Trump, who, with Hazard Stevens, was one of the first people to stand on the summit of Mount Rainier.

For 1.8 miles the trail climbs steadily uphill until it reaches the base of Comet Falls. From there it switchbacks .8 mile uphill to the junction with the Rampart Ridge Trail. Van Trump Park is to the right, where the trail winds through the meadows until it dead ends in .5 mile.


Along the Trail:


Three hundred-twenty foot Comet Falls is a popular destination for many hikers. For those folks who continue, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens stand out to the distant south while the Kautz and Van Trump Glaciers dominate views of Mount Rainier to the north. Look for marmots and pikas on rocky open slopes and goats to the east, west and north of Van Trump Park.


Backpacking:


There is no designated camp along this trail nor anywhere nearby; however, crosscounty camping opportunities exist for skilled minimum impact backpackers who seek a primitive experience. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.

Did You Know?

Mount Rainier summit with Mount Adams in the distance.

At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is the highest peak in the Cascade Range. From various locations around the park you can see four other Cascade volcanoes: Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Baker, and Glacier Peak. On a clear day, you can see the tip of Mount Hood, in northern Oregon, from Paradise Meadows.