2015-08-08 - Northwest Road Trip - Mount Rainier - Part II - Comet Falls
On our second day in Mount Rainier National Park, my brother and I planned to go see what many consider the most beautiful waterfall in the park, Comet Falls. The park was very crowded on this beautiful Saturday and finding parking was tough. After a few U-turns and driving back and forth, we finally found a spot close to Christine Falls and hiked back to the start of the trail. The hike started with a steep half mile climb into the old-growth forest and crosses Van Trump Creek. It continues upward across the base of active avalanche chutes filled with trees and rocks.
Around 2.3 miles in, we reached Falls Creek. Initially thinking that this was Comet Falls, we spent time enjoying but not overly impressed by it. Quite a number of other people were hanging out here as well. We did a bit of scrambling and I got close to the cold water of the falls.
A brief climb up revealed the real Comet Falls in the distance. We hiked to its base and took a short break, admiring it. It truly was spectacular, a tall 320-foot waterfall splashing onto basalt cliffs.
Continuing on, the steep trail took us up to the top of the falls and the meadows of the Van Trump Park. Reaching the Van Trump Creek and the hour growing later than planned, we decided to head back down. But not before getting another grand view of Mount Rainier in the distance.
During the trek back down, I realized that I had lost my cap. My brother was tired from the steep uphill hike and took his time going down while I half jogged the trail down to our car. I was unable to find my cap but did have time to hike down from the car to see Christine Falls before meeting up with my brother back at the car. We then started our drive to the Longview North / Mount St Helens KOA campgrounds where we stayed the night. Having a warm shower and a bug-free, smooth place to sleep in our tent was heavenly compared to sleeping in the car the night before.