The popular Comet Falls Trail at Mount Rainier National Park was temporarily closed to the public Tuesday because of extremely hazardous conditions.
Superintendent Randy King said the closure begins one mile beyond the trailhead.
A substantial washout, about 10 feet across and 30 feet deep, made worse by rains over the past several weeks, undermined the trail at the site of the closure.
Snow and ice added to the hazard, especially if a hiker were to try to walk around the washout, King said. Snow and ice along the trail make travel hazardous even before getting to the washout area, he said.
King expects a park trail crew will reach the area next week to begin building a safe route around the washout. There was no timeline for reopening the trail.
The trailhead is four miles beyond Longmire on the road to Paradise. The 1.9-mile trail leads to the base of 320-foot Comet Falls, one of the longest waterfalls in the park.jeff.mayor @thenewstribune.com