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Comet Falls Trail Closed, Needs Volunteers

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Jun 26, 2012 01:55 PM |
Over the winter, the Comet Falls trail at Mount Rainier National Park suffered a wash-out that has closed the popular trail to hikers indefinitely. The wash-out, about a mile in, has taken out a chunk of trail 10 feet across and 30 feet deep. Mount Rainier National Park is looking to Washington Trails Association and volunteers to help fix the Comet Falls trail and get it reopened for the prime hiking season. WTA will be at Comet Falls Friday through Sunday through July. Volunteers are encouraged to come out for a day or a weekend, and camping is even available for free for volunteers at Longmire.
Comet Falls Trail Closed, Needs Volunteers

The trail to Comet Falls is currently closed to hikers due to a wash-out. Volunteers are needed to repair the trail. Photo by Todd Dubois.

Over the winter, the Comet Falls trail at Mount Rainier National Park suffered a wash-out that has closed the popular trail to hikers indefinitely. The wash-out, about a mile in, has taken out a chunk of trail 10 feet across and 30 feet deep.

Much like Mount Rainier National Park did a few years ago when floods wiped out the Glacier Basin trail, it is looking to Washington Trails Association and volunteers to help fix the Comet Falls trail and get it reopened for the prime hiking season.

WTA is already at work. We've spent the past three weekends at Comet Falls working on other parts of the trail as we wait for the snow to melt. Crews have fixed areas with extensive exposed roots by building new turnpike and crib steps, and have been building a rock wall to stabilize the trail.

Volunteer on the Comet Falls trail weekends through July

Now the work is really beginning. WTA will be at Mount Rainier National Park Friday through Sunday to assist the park in creating a reroute around the wash-out. With a limited amount of park staff to handle Mount Rainier's annual trail needs, volunteers are essential to fixing Comet Falls.

Comet Falls trail wash-out
WTA crew leader John Longsworth surveys the wash-out on the Comet Falls trail.
Please come out and join WTA at Comet Falls. Spend the day - or the whole weekend - repairing this beautiful trail to one of the prettiest cascades in the state. Without volunteer assistance, no one may be taking this popular hike this summer. With volunteer effort, hikers could make the five mile round-trip during its peak season in August and September.

For volunteers wishing to stay overnight, the park has made available a place to camp at no charge at Longmire. There are even showers available!

No previous experience is needed to volunteer. Whether 10 or 80, fit or not-so-fit, WTA's trained crew leaders can find a way for every volunteer to pitch in.

View WTA's full trail work schedule to sign up, or click on the day below that most interests you.

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