Explore Mount Rainier - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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We loved this hike today. I wish we could have finished it, but after the first few miles it got too icy to attempt in just hiking boots, so we didn’t make it to Comet Falls. The part we did was beautiful and we’d like to go back with the proper equipment. The is some snow on the trail but it would be passable if not for the ice toward the top.

Fun short hike for a family or group looking for something easy. Old growth trees are spectacular and there's a fun suspension bridge that crosses over a stream. The old NPS interpretation signs from the 70s are a bit over the top and probably due for removal, but otherwise this is a fun, easy trail if you have a group looking for a relaxed adventure.

Amazing trees.

hiking
12 days ago

Nice accessible falls.

There was a lot of snow on road and one map said we were at trail. We decided to park and hike the road to trailhead. 2.5 miles we finally got to trail head. It was a pretty hike in the snow even on the road. It was getting dark so we decided wouldn’t have enough time to do the hike, with walking down road with the cars that still needed to come down. Snow was deep as we got higher. We had spikes so they helped walking the road.

It was a beautiful hike in the snow even though we didn’t make to trail.

Great views of the falls but I did not do the entire trail because it was closed. This was one of 3 waterfalls I was visiting so I was not too disappointed that it wasn’t much of a “hike”. I was treated with gorgeous views of a rainbow over the waterfall. I assume on any sunny day this occurs. As others have mentioned it is difficult to find. You will park at a gravel parking lot right off the road on the right and then you will need to cross the road by foot to find the trail head right off the edge of the road.

Here is a video from my day where I visited panther creek falls, lower creek falls, and spirit falls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KasE9uJGAOA&t=630s

Travelers info:

Forest Pass: YES
Parking fee: no but forest Pass needed
Driving: about 2 hours from Portland, potholes on the road up to panther.

Awesome short hike. View from the top is amazing.

You: Bring light Ice cleats, and a camera.

Transportation: having decent ground clearance is not a must have but surely helps. I wouldn’t drive up there in a sedan, but people do it.

It was a perfect day to go. The road had a few ice patches. As for the trail, it was doable without spikes but they were really helpful scrambling to the top. I do recommend at least having a trekking pole.

Too hard and far to drive to there.

hiking
1 month ago

A little busy but the view from the top was absolutely amazing! The trail was icy in several spots. Should have brought some light ice cleats but it was still doable.

Always an amazing hike!!

horseback riding
1 month ago

Easy trail with little ups and downs. Rain forest woods so nice and cool when it’s a hot day. Very quiet in November. Beautiful tourquoise colored lake with a view of a mountain from either end.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike with an amazing view of Mt Rainier at the peak.

However, the main road to the trailhead is closed for the season. We did not know this. So it was an additional 5 miles from the parking lot to trailhead.

All in all an extra 10 miles, but it was worth it.

Very pretty hike, even when the falls are not going!

A beautiful hike!
I would suggest using a 4 wheel drive, or high clearance vehicle. The road to the parking is plagued with potholes. That makes the journey a lot longer to park. There are no facilities here.
It wasn't too busy, and it was a gorgeous fall day!

hiking
1 month ago

10/19 (Fri midday): Picture perfect views at the peak and all along the way. We had a clear, sunny, warm autumn day with no wind. Not one, but two clear blue lakes along a mostly flat trail to a short, steep climb to the peak/fire lookout and stunning Mt Rainier looming super large, so close you could almost touch. Big wow for my east coast guests. Popular hike but not overrun. All mountain hikes I know require driving a long gravel road like this route in, so not sure why everyone is so freaked out by it? Road is in great shape and well maintained, as you would expect with a back road in any National Park. Handled it in a rented Impala no problemo.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this during the summer and it was definitely worth it. The views when you get on top are awesome! Before you get back to your car, stop by Mowich Lake and check it out.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this trail in mid October on a foggy-turned-sunny day with a couple friends. The views were spectacular. Mt. Rainier consumes half your view when you get to the top and St. Helens is off to the west. The hike was really easy and fast so it's a great hike for a half day instead of a full day. Also, the dirt road leading to the trail is long but wide and well kept. I took my Ford Fusion up it at 25 mph no problems.

hiking
1 month ago

A must do hike if you live in Washington or Seattle! Great views of greenish blue lakes break up the hike on the way up. Not a super long hike - once you hit Eunice lake, it gets steeper but not long to the top. Amazing view from the peak of Mount Rainier! Drive in gets bumpy about 45+ minutes from trail head.

When we got to the lake it was nice and sunny, but not much longer when we got to the peak the fog had come up so fast we - couldn’t see anything

We hiked the trail on a beautiful sunny day and the scenery was gorgeous. The 10+ mile gravel road is like a wash board in many areas but there are few potholes. A truck or SUV will have no trouble. A car will have a bumpy, slower trip. It took our group of three 60 year olds and two 30 year olds about 4 hours to do the round trip. We took a lot of breaks, pictures, and had lunch at the fire lookout. The rating of moderate is accurate for this trail.

Simply amazing. A relatively short hike with some of the most breathtaking views at the end. We were lucky to get a sunny fall day and see Rainier in all its glory, along with Adams and St Helens. The drop off the edge is insane, incredible photos for a little effort!

amazing views and the falls are awesome!!!

Beautiful hike! Not a long hike, but good elevation gain. We did it with a 9 & 7 year old. The kids had a great time, but they are used to doing these types of hikes. There was a 360 view that was incredible.

Did this after peak color season (4 days ago) but glad I did, had better fall colors than Naches loop.

walking
1 month ago

Nice hike to the falls from Paradise parking lot. It’s definitely a workout for the hammies but wouldn’t have it any other way.

Amazing hike.
The trail is not as hard as it looks from its distance because the first 1.4 miles are flat or downhill.
Rainier view are along several points of the trail, and the view at the top is stunning.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely magnificent trail. Would highly recommend during the fall season. It took us 2+1+1.5 hrs car to car. It’s an easy hike which is kid and pet friendly. However the drive till there can be tiresome once the gravel road starts.

A must hike every year. we did this hike past Sunday. Fall colors are vibrant!

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