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Narada Falls to Reflection Lakes

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- SW - Longmire/Paradise
View map below

Length

5.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1150 ft.
Highest Point: 5400 ft.

Rating

3.36 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 
 

Hiking the trail between the Narada Falls viewpoint and Reflection Lakes is pleasant enough. But you can extend the route into a loop featuring an unobstructed view of the Tatoosh Range from a rocky bluff, and an up-close experience of the awe-inspiring whitewater cascades of the Paradise River.

Obtain a free copy of the “Paradise Area Trails” map from the Longmire Wilderness Information Center or Paradise Visitor Center to make this route even easier to follow.

From the Narada Falls parking lot, cross the beautiful stone bridge and start downhill on the well-defined trail. Often damp, the trail drops moderately steeply 0.1 mile to a prominent viewpoint. The falls are best seen after mid-morning, when they can be fully illuminated on sunny days. Swirling mists can make the viewing area wet at any time of day.

Continue downhill, leaving the crowds behind. At 0.2 mile is a ‘T’ junction with the Wonderland Trail. Go left and start climbing through pleasant shaded forest. The trail is lined with vegetation, predominantly vanilla leaf, blueberries, and ferns. Climb steadily to 0.8 mile, where you crest over a small pass and begin a gentle descent.

At 1.3 miles, cross the Stevens Canyon Road and pick up the trail on the opposite side. At a junction with the “Lakes Trail”, go right and round the corner to the first and largest of the Reflection Lakes at 1.5 miles. (This junction offers a loop option of 3 miles.)

To complete the recommended 5-mile loop, continue past the middle of the first lake, where the trail becomes a raised paved walkway beside the road. After 400 yards of pavement, follow the trail away from the highway to a junction at 2.0 miles. Go left on the trail also signed as “Lakes Trail”. Back in shady forest, climb on graveled soil to 2.5 miles, where the trail breaks out at Faraway Rock. This is an airy precipice with an outstanding 180-degree view including Stevens Canyon to the east, sparkling Louise Lake below, and the magnificent Tatoosh Range dominating the southern horizon.

Pass a small tarn to reach another junction at 2.7 miles. Go left on the High Lakes Trail (or Lakes High Trail as the sign reads). Follow this route, which is mostly level with limited views and occasional ruts, to a junction at 3.8 miles with the other Lakes Trail. From here, the route is the same for either loop.

Follow the sign toward Paradise, soon coming to a road. Cross it and pick up the trail at the far right of the wide gravel pullout. Almost immediately you reach the Paradise River and the first of many pleasant riverside viewpoints. Cross the river on a wooden bridge then descend to another road crossing. This one has two-way traffic with limited sight distance. You need to cross the bridge and the road to resume the trail at a small waterfall just below the bridge.

Over the next quarter mile, the river churns and drops through a beautiful sequence of cascades, making photography stops almost mandatory. At 5.0 miles, the trail exits adjacent the restrooms at Narada Falls.

 

Narada Falls to Reflection Lakes

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.7753, -121.7465 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- SW - Longmire/Paradise

Mount Rainier National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Paradise Area Trails (available free from the Wilderness Information Center at Longmire or the Paradise Visitor Center)

Mt. Rainier National Park Hiking Map and Guide

Earthwalk Press

Getting There

Enter the west (Nisqually) entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, 13.5 miles east of Elbe on State Route 706. Drive 14.5 miles to the Narada Falls Trailhead parking lot on the right.

From the east entrance, or from within the park, travel west 0.8 mile from the junction of Paradise Road and Stevens Canyon Road.

The trailhead parking lot has picnic tables, restrooms (across the bridge), and parking for about 40 vehicles.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 

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Narada Falls to Reflection Lakes

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