Though this is a remarkably pretty waterfall, and an excellent study for professional photography, it certainly isn't a noteworthy waterfall, much less 50-75 feet tall, as described by Greg Plumb, author of "A Waterfall Lover's Guide to the Pacific Northwest". The falls cascades over a domed ledge then pour out of a narrow trough into a small pool, dropping no more than 15 feet total. Just past the bridge, the Spray Park trail climbs up to Cataract Falls in about Â¾ of a mile, but I have yet to visit that fall. If you plan on hiking the Carbon Glacier trail, pause to admire the falls, however, if you came up here mainly to see waterfalls, head up to Cataract Falls, as this is definitely not worth the hike.
- Lower Cataract Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall.
Located within the Carbon River area of Mt. Rainier National Park. Drive south from Enumclaw along Highway 410 to just past Buckley to Highway 165, marked for Carbonado, Wilkeson and Mt. Rainier. Follow this road for 16 miles to the Carbon River Entrance Station of Mt Rainier National Park. The road is currently closed at the entrance station and may remain that way indefinitely. A trail is marked along the old roadbed for 4 Â½ miles to the campground where the Wonderland Trail can be found. Cataract Creek is found 3 miles further in, with the falls upstream. However, as of late 2007, the Wonderland Trail is closed between Ipsut Creek and Cataract Creek, requiring a detour along the Northern Loop trail to the suspension bridge over the Carbon River and back to Cataract Creek. This will add about another mile to the hike.