Mount Rainier National Park: Van Trump Park - Backpacker

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.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to

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

CONTACT Mt. Rainier National Park, (360) 569-2211;

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 3.7



Location: 46.7786827087402, -121.783515930176

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


Location: 46.7807998657227, -121.780632019043

Cross bridge straddling Van Trump Creek; trail veers L


Location: 46.7839508056641, -121.780113220215

Marmots groom themselves and whistle in scree field on R


Location: 46.7850494384766, -121.781318664551

Parallel creek; bold, jagged peaks emerge


Location: 46.7866668701172, -121.782447814941

Continue N as whitewater rushes below steep hillside walls


Location: 46.7934951782227, -121.7783203125

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


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


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


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