After further review, Mount Rainier National Park officials have decided to keep the final portion of Comet Falls Trail closed because of hazardous conditions.
The trail had been scheduled to reopen Tuesday, but park officials revisited the situation and decided to maintain the closure, ranger Daniel Keebler said.
An avalanche created the hazard, which runs from below the Van Trump Creek crossing, about 1.6 miles from the trailhead, to the stream crossing above Comet Falls. The avalanche filled the canyon bottom with snow and broken trees. The trail is buried beneath many feet of snow and debris.
Keebler said it is not possible to view the falls from the open section of trail, nor is it possible to reach Van Trump Park via the Comet Falls Trail.
Hikers should not try to cross the closed section, he said. Park officials do not know how much snow is covering the creeks, and the steep, uneven surface of the snow slopes down into dangerous areas.
Breaking through the snow into the rushing water below could lead to disaster, Keebler said.
The 1.6-mile section from the trailhead to the closure remains open and provides views of cascading Van Trump Creek. The trailhead is off the Longmire-to-Paradise Road, about 200 yards downhill from the Christine Falls viewpoint. The trail is considered strenuous.
The Comet Falls Trail is a summertime favorite for hikers in good physical condition. The trail’s namesake waterfall shoots over a dramatic cliff into the steep canyon traversed by the firstname.lastname@example.org