If you're lucky, a rainbow will stretch across the tiers of this scenic waterfall next to the highway. Climb up the adjacent nature trail.
Narada Falls is a powerful set of cascades that rush down a rock face. A highway runs between the waterfall’s two tiers, providing easy access to a viewing platform overlooking both parts. Embark on the Narada Falls Trail, which is of moderate difficulty and passes by the cascades.
Continue along the path, as it threads through the forest and gains elevation. It is 2.4 miles (3.9 kilometers) long and is great for snowshoeing in winter. Spot wildflowers and wildlife, such as various deer and marmots, while on the trail.
Reach the cascades and gaze up at the magnificent upper tier, whose water rushes down a chute of 168 feet (51 meters). The small lower part has a 20-foot (6-meter) drop. Gaze up at the waterfall; with luck, you’ll see a bright rainbow arching across it. To know more about the waterfall and its formation, read the information on the plaque at the site’s viewing point.
Visit the site in winter, to see how the waterfall freezes over, creating a powerful visual effect. Many ice climbers come here in colder times to conquer the slippery frozen wall.
The park is open at all times and charges a per-vehicle or per-person fee. The trail around the falls is most popular from June through October.
Narada Falls is just outside Paradise, in Mt. Rainier National Park in central Washington state. From Paradise, drive south along the meandering road for 3 miles (5 kilometers) to get here in just 5 to 10 minutes. Drop off your vehicle in the designated parking area right beside the falls.
While you’re in the park, make sure to see surrounding attractions such as the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center, the Paradise Picnic Area and Reflection Lake.