Temporary Trail Closure At Mount Rainier National Park To Protect Hikers

These photos, one from last July and one taken this week, show the amount of snow remaining along the trail to Comet Falls. NPS photos.

A temporary trail closure has been put in place on the Comet Falls Trail at Mount Rainier National Park to protect hikers from falling through a crust of snow and into the cold waters of Comet Falls.

The closure runs from approximately a quarter-mile below Comet Falls to the river crossing above Comet Falls in Van Trump Park. "This closure is due to an abundant amount of avalanche debris in the Van Trump drainage, making the trail dangerous and creating extremely hazardous river crossings," said park officials. "A fall through hidden pockets in the snow could be fatal."


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.