Mount Rainier National Park: Van Trump Park

This 4.6-mile round-trip takes an old mountaineers' route past cascades and through alpine meadows to a classic peak in the shadows of Rainier.
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This 4.6-mile round-trip takes an old mountaineers' route past cascades and through alpine meadows to a classic peak in the shadows of Rainier.

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

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 3.7

Waypoints

CMT001

Location: 46.7786827087402, -121.783515930176

From parking lot, begin hiking NE beneath the southern flanks of Rampart Ridge

CMT002

Location: 46.7807998657227, -121.780632019043

Cross bridge straddling Van Trump Creek; trail veers L

CMT003

Location: 46.7839508056641, -121.780113220215

Marmots groom themselves and whistle in scree field on R

CMT004

Location: 46.7850494384766, -121.781318664551

Parallel creek; bold, jagged peaks emerge

CMT005

Location: 46.7866668701172, -121.782447814941

Continue N as whitewater rushes below steep hillside walls

CMT006

Location: 46.7934951782227, -121.7783203125

Practice your balancing act: Tiptoe carefully across narrow log bridge using a single guide wire for support

CMT007

Location: 46.7959671020508, -121.778800964355

Break to enjoy Comet Falls; this aptly named cascade flows 320 ft. from a glacial cirque; begin steep N ascent up switchbacks

CMT008

Location: 46.7980346679688, -121.777000427246

Persistent switchbacks lead to open meadow where views to the N showcase the icy toes of Kautz and Van Trump Glaciers. Goats and pikas thrive in surrounding rocky alpine terrain

CMT009

Location: 46.7993850708008, -121.776664733887

Van Trump Park summit, named after P.B. Van Trump, one of the first mountaineers on Rainier; open meadow flourishes with life and views of Mts. Adams, St. Helens, and Rainier; retrace route to car