The Paradise Glacier has the unique characteristic of feeding three different watercourses - the Paradise River, Stevens Creek, and the unnamed stream that feeds Fairy Falls. When I first spotted this waterfall, I was under the impression that the full volume of Stevens Creek was spouting out from under the upper lobe of the glacier and tumbling down the moraine. A later visit showed this to not be the case. Instead, Stevens Creek originates further up the valley, and this appears to be a perennial, though smaller volume melt stream from a different part of the glacier. Because of the rapid recession of the Paradise Glacier, this waterfall may not have even existed as little as 30 years ago, when the two lobes of the glacier may have been connected to one another. As it is now, the falls are only easily seen once the winter snow pack has melted off around the area, which usually doesn't occur completely until the end of July. The maintained trail stops a good Â¼ mile off from the falls, but hiking to its base shouldn't be out of the question - just make sure you have sunscreen (no shade whatsoever) and good hiking shoes to tackle the rocky terrain.
- Paradise Glacier Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
Located in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park. Because of the often-crowded nature of the Paradise parking lots, this waterfall is best accessed as follows. Once in Mount Rainier National Park, follow Highway 706 to the Paradise Road, and drive to the large parking area at the Paradise Lodge. Do not park here, but instead begin following the one-way Paradise Valley Road, which leaves Paradise. At the bottom of the first hill, you'll cross the Paradise River, and immediately after is a large parking area on the right. Park here. Follow the 4th Crossing Trail, across the street from the parking area, uphill for 1/3 of a mile, to the Skyline Trail. Turn right, and proceed another 8/10 of a mile to the Paradise Glacier Trail. Head right again, and proceed 3/4 miles to the end of the Paradise Glacier trail. The falls can be seen up the valley but at a distance. Closer views require hiking further up the basin without a trail (which has no shade whatsoever, and often gets quite hot in the summer).