Mount Rainier National Park: Comet Falls and Mildred Point

Hike to one of the tallest waterfalls in the park, climb through a meadowland paradise, and crest 5,935-foot Mildred Point on this 6.2-mile hike.
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Hike to one of the tallest waterfalls in the park, climb through a meadowland paradise, and crest 5,935-foot Mildred Point on this 6.2-mile hike.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping-and-hiking.htm.

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations requests accepted by fax or mail, starting on March 15th of each year ($20/reservation). Download form at nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/wilderness-reservation-information.htm.

CONTACT Mt. Rainier National Park, (360) 569-2211; nps.gov/mora

-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 10.0

Waypoints

COM001

Location: 46.778727, -121.783533

Pick up the trail on the north side of the parking area. Prepare for a steep, tk mile climb.

COM002

Location: 46.781174, -121.780057

Trail levels out near the bridge over Van Trump Creek, just above where it tumbles over Christine Falls below you. (The rock formations here are spectacular.) Continue into forest and along the creek to the north, passing lush wildflowers of trilliums, violets, and marsh marigolds.

COM003

Location: 46.79173, -121.781409

Look for pika as you pass by some huge rock formations and talus fields. The vine maples turn vibrant shades in autumn.

COM004

Location: 46.793199, -121.778877

Cross a rock slot (and the main channel of Van Trump Creek) on a footlog. Note: The log crossing may be washed out if you come too early in the spring. The creek that feeds Comet Falls flows into Van Trump Creek from the north.

COM005

Location: 46.795227, -121.779006

Stop for impressive views of Comet Falls tumbling hundreds of feet from the high plateau of Van Trump Park above you. After soaking it in, continue on the trail to the southeast that climbs steeply above the falls. The maples and ash growing on the open slopes between the alpine fir are mesmerizing in fall.

COM006

Location: 46.797866, -121.77722

Turn left at the junction onto Van Trump Park Trail to crest Mildred Point. Right takes you up into Van Trump Park, another worthy destination. Hike through avalanche lilies, glacier lilies, and beargrass. Enjoy the brief stretch of level trail.

COM007

Location: 46.795028, -121.784129

Turn right and leave Van Trump Park Trail. Start the climb up to the picturesque parkland meadows below Mildred Point (come in fall to see crimson huckleberry meadows).

COM008

Location: 46.800693, -121.783167

Crest 5,935-foot Mildred Point, surrounded by avalanche lilies in summer and fall color in autumn. Look smack down at the massive Kautz Creek drainage. Kautz Glacier and Mount Rainier can be seen to the northeast and you may see mountain goats on the cliffs and grassy slopes across Kautz Creek. Return via the same route.

Comet Falls

Location: 46.795241, -121.778769

Mt. Rainier rises behind Van Trump Park

Location: 46.795917, -121.783276

Fall color in the meadows below Mildred Point

Location: 46.798297, -121.784348