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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • No water/restrooms at Paradise - 10/23/14

    Due to an issue with the Paradise water tanks, there is no drinkable water and only temporary restrooms at Paradise. Use restrooms at Longmire/Narada Falls instead; drinkable water is available in Longmire. More »

  • Nisqually to Paradise Delays

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

  • High Water & Inclement Weather Create Hazardous River Crossings

    Several Wonderland trail bridges on the White River and Carbon River have been washed out by high water. Be advised that some crossings will need to be forded, and in some cases may be impassable while inclement conditions continue. More »

Comet Falls Trail

Trail Description:


Comet Falls

Van Trump Park

Distance, round-trip:

3.8 miles

5.6 miles

Elevation gain:

900 feet

2000 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

3 hours

4-5 hours

Wilderness camps:

None

None

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 additional 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. 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 the maintained trail 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 to Van Trump Park, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens are visible to the south while the Kautz and Van Trump Glaciers dominate views of Mount Rainier to the north. Look for marmots, pikas, and goats on rocky open slopes.


Backpacking:


There is no designated camp along this trail. 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?

President Taft visits Paradise in 1911.

In 1911, President William Howard Taft's touring car was the first vehicle to drive the newly-built road to Paradise. The road was very muddy, and the car had to be pulled through the upper portion by a team of mules. Learn more about Mount Rainier's transportation history at the following link: More...