Comet Falls Trail

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Elevation Gain1,789ft
Trailhead Elevation3,625ft
Elevation Min/Max3625/4953ft
Elevation Start/End3625/3625ft

Comet Falls Trail

Comet Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Pierce County, Washington. It is within Mount Rainier National Park. It is 1.6 miles long and begins at 3,625 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,789 feet. The Comet Falls Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. The trail ends near the Comet Falls Viewpoint. This trail connects with the following: Van Trump Trail.

Comet Falls Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hiking: Mount Rainier National Park (The Mountaineers Books)
Dan A. Nelson & Alan L. Bauer
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"Many claim this two-step falls is the most beautiful waterfall in the park. The 320-foot cascade fans out as it crashes down the basalt cliffs, providing a spectacular show of force and beauty. The trail to this natural wonder climbs the steep valley of Van Trump Creek, offering little along the way other than an experience in the forest primeval. But once you reach the waterfall basin, that overly average trail suddenly seems exceptional." Read more
Hiking Waterfalls in Washington (Falcon Guides)
Roddy Scheer with Adam Sawyer
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"Dropping 462 feet in three tiers, Comet Falls dwarfs most other waterfalls across Washington State, and getting to see it requires a short but vigorous hike along the side of the gorge formed by the twisty and often frothing Van Trump Creek. Along the way, three other waterfalls sweeten the deal and offer ample opportunities to cool off in glacier- fed waters. Those looking to get slightly off the beaten path in Mt. Rainier National Park should carve out a half- day to visit this stunning pocket of nature’s finery." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount Rainier National Park (Falcon Guides)
Heidi Radlinski and Mary Skjelset
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"This hike leads to Comet Falls, one of the tallest falls in the park, named for the water’s likeness to a comet’s tail as it plunges 320 feet into the creek below. The trail takes you through beautiful forest to several waterfalls, including Comet Falls, one of the tallest falls in the park. From the Van Trump Park Trail parking lot, hike north on the Van Trump Park Trail. The hike starts off with a bang, as you reach a bridge crossing Christine Falls in less than 0.3 mile. The bridge provides a birds-eye view of the oft-photographed falls that roar and churn around granite walls until making their final tumble near the Longmire-Paradise Road." Read more
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades (The Mountaineers Books)
Joan Burton
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"There are four good reasons to take this steep and rocky hike: (1) a spectacular waterfall, 320 frothing feet from brink to plunge basin; (2) alpine meadows; (3) Mount Rainier so close you can feel the glacier’s cold breath; and (4) frequent glimpses of deer and mountain goats. The trail is steep with some big steps, and in many places it is also rough and rocky. Even so, this hike beside a noisy creek is delightful." Read more

Comet Falls Trail Reviews

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A magnificent trail. The overveiw didn't have a time as most other trail reviews had. I would estimate that for an average hiker this would be a 3 hour out and back (90 min out/ 45 min photo&lunch&breaks / 45 min return) including time for photos and just gazing in awe of the falls. It is all up"hill" on the out portion -- probably no more than 300 meters of flat terrain if that. For photos, when one arrives at the second trail bridge (near sign that states "Comet Falls 200 feet") this is a great spot for photos. Cross the bridge and immediately orient for the shot along the rushing water rock bank: shoot towards the double falls off to the right in the near distance. There is another great spot for a photo if one continues up the trail (past the mileage in the reveiw)perhaps about 300 - 350 meters (somewaht steep)on the trail and one arrives at a natural "platform" that juts out and one feels like one can touch the falls and feel its thunder as the water rushes by. It was very cool rainy day, but just a Underarmor long sleeve t-shirt was sufficient because of the upward hike.

Comet Falls Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Mount Rainier National Park
Nearby City
Mount Rainier National Park
Skill Level
Waterfalls, Views
Longmire Wilderness Information Center, (360) 569-6650
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Dec 2018