Myrtle Falls

Mt Rainier National Park / Paradise, Washington, USA

About Myrtle Falls


Hiking Distance: 0.6 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2011-08-25
Date last visited: 2011-08-25

Waterfall Latitude: 46.79125
Waterfall Longitude: -121.73219

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Myrtle Falls gave us that rare opportunity to photograph a waterfall in front of Mt Rainier – Washington’s most iconic mountain.

I had to believe that it was for this reason alone that the falls was very popular.

Rainier_428_08252011 - Myrtle Falls fronting Mt Rainier
Myrtle Falls fronting Mt Rainier

This was especially the case considering that it seemed every visitor to Mt Rainier would visit Paradise (i.e. the touristy part of the park).

So it wasn’t surprising to us when we saw how busy the trail was even within the limited space at its overlook.

It turned out that everyone at the overlook took turns taking their shots then moving aside so the next person could get their shots of the falls.

The Short Hike to Myrtle Falls and elsewhere

The trail was on a well-signposted 0.3-mile paved walk from the stairs leaving the Paradise Inn entrance area to the viewpoint you see pictured above.

Rainier_416_08252011 - The busy and paved walking trails in the Paradise area leading to Myrtle Falls while also revealing the glacier-laced volcano of Mt Rainier
The busy and paved walking trails in the Paradise area leading to Myrtle Falls while also revealing the glacier-laced volcano of Mt Rainier

A signpost near a three-pronged fork in the trail pointed the way right to a short descent leading to the viewpoint of both the Myrtle Falls, a footbridge above it, and Mt Rainier (on a clear day, of course).

When I walked this paved path, I realized that this waterfall wasn’t the only reason to go for a walk in this area.

There were also numerous other trails branching out from the Paradise Inn area leading to other waterfalls such as Sluiskin Falls as well as viewpoints and access to the Nisqually Glacier.

And just about all of these trails yielded views of the rounded snowy top of Mt Rainier, especially on the mostly clear day that Julie and I happened to be fortunate to experience.

Rainier_412_08252011 - Distant view of what I believe to be Sluiskin Falls on the southern slopes of Mt Rainier as seen from the walk to Myrtle Falls
Distant view of what I believe to be Sluiskin Falls on the southern slopes of Mt Rainier as seen from the walk to Myrtle Falls

There were also views of the Paradise River below as well as some jagged mountains surrounding the Paradise vicinity.

If we had more time to explore this part of the park, we very easily could have taken one of the longer walks and really experience this bustling place.

Unfortunately, since we were on a day trip from Seattle, we couldn’t devote more time here and really do this area justice.

So I guess we’ll have to come back here when our child would be old enough to appreciate this stuff and perhaps base ourselves in the Mt Rainier area instead of Seattle.

Authorities

Myrtle Falls resides in Mt Rainier National Park near Puyallup in Pierce County, Washington. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Rainier_409_08252011 - The steps just before the entrance to Paradise Inn, which I believe we took to start the short walk to Myrtle Falls
Rainier_411_08252011 - Gorgeous view back at Paradise Inn surrounded by picturesque mountains
Rainier_413_08252011 - Contextual view of Sluiskin Falls (at the top of this photo) with part of the road down below
Rainier_417_08252011 - Looking towards Mt Rainier from the walking path on the way to Myrtle Falls
Rainier_438_08252011 - Looking at Mt Rainier from the Myrtle Falls viewpoint junction. The footbridge on the lower right is the same footbridge above Myrtle Falls, which you can see in the photo at the top of this page
Rainier_423_08252011 - First look at Myrtle Falls fronting Mt Rainier
Rainier_424_08252011 - Slightly different angled view of Myrtle Falls and Mt Rainier revealing different parts of its converging cascades
Rainier_440_08252011 - After having our fill of the Myrtle Falls, we headed back to the Paradise Inn while enjoying the views all around us
Rainier_444_08252011 - More scenic views of the surrounding mountains while heading back to Paradise Inn after having had our fill of Myrtle Falls
Rainier_445_08252011 - Taking our time enjoying the scenery around the Paradise area of Mt Rainier National Park
Rainier_446_08252011 - Last zoomed in look at what I believe to be Sluiskin Falls

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Myrtle Falls is best accessed from the paved walkway just up the steps in front of the Paradise Inn.

The Paradise area is about 15 miles east of the Nisqually Entrance.

Rainier_408_08252011 - The very busy parking lot for the Paradise Inn on the southern slopes of Mt Rainier
The very busy parking lot for the Paradise Inn on the southern slopes of Mt Rainier

For more details on the directions to the Nisqually Entrance, see the Comet Falls page.

You’ll have to find parking at the Paradise Inn area, which very frequently gets full (so parking could be just as frustrating as finding parking at Pike’s Market in Seattle‘s waterfront during the day).

I recalled that we had to make two long loops when we thought we could’ve parked along the 3-mile one-way road that loops to the east of Paradise Inn.

However, signs prohibited it even though we did see some cars parked there meaning those people must’ve walked back to the Paradise area from those spots.

Rainier_410_08252011 - The  backside of the Paradise Inn, but public parking was prohibited here
The backside of the Paradise Inn, but public parking was prohibited here

As for geographical context, the Nisqually Entrance of Mt Rainier was 86 miles (supposedly under 2 hours drive) from Seattle and 50 miles (supposedly a little over an hour drive) from Puyallup. Of course with all the traffic restrictions and traffic lights, the reality was that it took at least 30-60 minutes more than what I’m quoting above.

Top down sweep of the falls starting with Mt Rainier and ending at the falls. This is said to be one of the signature viewpoints of Washington's most iconic mountain.

Trip Planning Resources


Nearby Accommodations



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Tagged with: mt rainier, mount rainier, national park, paradise, pierce, view, myrtle creek, washington, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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