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Welcome to my first blog, For my first trip to Mt. Rainier this year, I headed out on a cloudy Sunday morning with hopes of clearing weather and without a clear destination in mind.
After making my way through a few spats of drizzle, I entered the park from the Nisqually entrance. I like this route up to Paradise because there are so many waterfalls to choose from, and cloudy weather is great for photographing waterfalls.
I wandered up past the Longmire Museum and when I went by the Comet Falls trailhead, someone was pulling out. This was a sign! Parking here is always tight, so it was about time to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
The hike itself is less than two miles into the Falls, but it makes you work for it. Lots of steep steps and a few waterfalls along the way that would be worthwhile destinations in their own right. I crossed a small bridge with a three tier waterfall, stopping to take some pictures. I see the sign, Comet Falls, 200 feet. I rounded the corner and immediately saw what all the fuss is about! It's the tallest waterfall in the park, and the clouds were hugging the top of the falls. I couldn't ask for a better view. I definitely understood why parking was always tight, even when getting there early.
In addition to the stunning falls, there were wildflowers blooming. By the time I had my fill exploring, the sun was starting to poke through the thinning clouds.
After taking dozens of pictures, I made my way back down. There was already someone waiting to take my spot. I grabbed a quick lunch and headed out towards more sightseeing.
I was hoping to see the Grove of the Patriarchs, but it was jam packed when I went by. An adventure for another day.
I ended up driving up to Cayuse pass and then back down highway 410 towards Enumclaw. There were still a fair number of clouds, so clear views of Rainier were scarce. All in all a great first trip of the year. I'll be back!