Narada Falls

Mt Rainier National Park / Paradise, Washington, USA

About Narada Falls

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

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

Waterfall Latitude: 46.77488
Waterfall Longitude: -121.7459

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Narada Falls was Julie’s favorite waterfall in Mt Rainier National Park.

That was saying something considering that I could have argued in favor of Comet Falls or Spray Falls.

Rainier_385_08252011 - Narada Falls fronted by a rainbow
Narada Falls fronted by a rainbow

The key features that impressed Julie were its width and that there seemed to be a variety of ways to experience the falls.

We even visited at a time when a rainbow appeared in its mist before its long and wide drop, which was said to be 188ft high.

It was also a very easy waterfall to visit as it was right besides a large parking lot.

However, we had to make a somewhat steep but short walk to get to the lower viewpoints for a more frontal view of the main tier of Narada Falls (as shown in the photo above).

Hiking down to the front of Narada Falls

Rainier_341_08252011 - Looking across the upper drop of Narada Falls with a stone footbridge spanning over its brink
Looking across the upper drop of Narada Falls with a stone footbridge spanning over its brink

Speaking of which, the parking lot view gave us a look at the smaller upper tier of the waterfall as well as a precipitous canyon view backed by sharp peaks in the distance.

A pedestrian bridge arched over this upper tier, which allowed us to see the brink of the main tier of Narada Falls as well as the tiny people further below.

This provided us with a sense of how much of a descent we had to make if we wanted to join them for those desired frontal views.

The main viewing area in front of the falls, which probably required us about 5-10 minutes down and double that one the way back up, was consistently sprayed by mist during our visit.

Rainier_391_08252011 - Looking back at the main lookout fronting Narada Falls
Looking back at the main lookout fronting Narada Falls

While this mist produced a pretty and bold rainbow, it also made some parts of the viewing area muddy and slippery.

The trail continued further downhill beyond the main viewing area, which I took some time to explore at the advice of a local I met at Spray Falls the day before.

That was when I noticed a side trail leading closer to the rushing Narada Creek.

There appeared to be some infrastructure discouraging the use of this trail, but with enough evidence of people proceeding anyways, I went ahead and followed it to yet another different, more angled perspective of the main tier of Narada Falls.

Rainier_365_08252011 - Angled view of Narada Falls from a formerly-sanctioned lookout before barricades were erected to discourage further use of this trail
Angled view of Narada Falls from a formerly-sanctioned lookout before barricades were erected to discourage further use of this trail

I’ll leave it up to you and your conscience to see whether you want to do the same and go past the barricade.

Interestingly enough, one of the interpretive signs of Narada Falls showed a photo of it from this vantage point. Go figure…


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

Rainier_339_08252011 - Looking at the profile of Narada Falls tumbling beneath the initial lookout next to the parking lot
Rainier_406_08252011 - Looking downstream from the bridge over the upper tiers of Narada Falls and towards some jagged peaks in the distance as well as the context of the lookout by the parking lot
Rainier_346_08252011 - Signpost for the trail leading to the main viewing area for Narada Falls
Rainier_347_08252011 - The foot trail on the descent to the main lookout for Narada Falls
Rainier_348_08252011 - Starting to get improved views of Narada Falls and rainbow the further down the foot trail we went
Rainier_360_08252011 - Broad view of the Narada Falls and nearly the full semi-circular arc of the rainbow fronting it
Rainier_383_08252011 - The muddy trail just downhill from the main viewpoint for Narada Falls
Rainier_372_08252011 - An unsanctioned angled view of Narada Falls from a lower lookout that used to be legitimate before they erected barricades discouraging its use
Rainier_382_08252011 - Some fences put up to discourage the view from the alternate viewpoint of Narada Falls
Rainier_364_08252011 - Looking up at people standing at the main lookout being dwarfed by the Narada Falls
Rainier_397_08252011 - Long exposure look at Narada Falls with bright rainbow in front of it

The large and well-signposted car park for Narada Falls is about 13 miles east of the Nisqually Entrance.

For more info on getting to the Nisqually Entrance, see the Comet Falls page.

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.

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Top down sweep starting with the bridge and one of the upper tiers of the falls then ending at the brink of the main tier showing the lower viewpoint in context. This is filmed from near the car park

Bottom up sweep of the main tier of the falls starting with its base and rainbow then ending at its top

Bottom up sweep of the falls as seen from one of the lower unofficial vantage points providing a more angled and unusual perspective of the falls

Tagged with: mt rainier, mount rainier, national park, paradise, lewis, washington, waterfall, narada creek

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

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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