Narada Falls, at Mount Rainier

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It’s easy to access one of Mount Rainier National Park’s most beautiful and impressive waterfalls, because it’s right beside the road.  Narada Falls is on the way to Paradise, via Paradise Road (Route 706 outside the park).  Park at the big, well-marked parking area along the south side of the road…

… then walk down a short trail to the viewpoint, to see the 159-foot drop of the lower tier of Narada Falls.  Be careful with your camera, though — this waterfall produces a generous spray of water that can quickly leave you soaked.  If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see that my lens was covered with droplets of water.

There’s an upper tier to the falls, as well, and you’ll be able to see it from the parking area.  It’s not nearly as impressive, and I don’t think I even bothered to take a picture of it.

The trail down to the viewpoint is steep, but short, and it’s well worth the small amount of effort required.  While I didn’t go any further, I’ve read that there is another viewpoint, just a bit further downstream from the falls, which provides a more angled view of the falls (instead of the straight-on shot that everyone takes from the viewpoint).

Because of the spray from the falls, this might not be an ideal place to hang out — unless of course, you’re visiting on a rare hot day.  I only spent a few minutes taking photos, then headed back to the car to continue the drive up to Paradise.

Narada is a Hindu word meaning pure and uncontaminated. Prior to receiving the name in 1893, it was known as Cushman Falls.

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