Madcap Falls is the second to last waterfall along the Paradise River. The 34 foot tall cascade has been the source of an inordinate amount of speculation and surmising of the true location due to what appears to be an error on the part of the USGS in mapping the falls. One source places the falls at the mouth of Tatoosh Creek, but having scoped out that area myself we saw no evidence of a waterfall of any size there (though we could have missed something). More likely is that this really is Madcap Falls and it was simply mapped too far upstream for purposes of visibility on larger scale maps. However, counter to this idea, when we marked the location of the falls using a GPS, it turns out to be the exact point where Carter Falls is mapped (though Carter Falls is a mere 200 yards downstream, but the accuracy of the GPS should have picked up on that) - so this could mean that either there is indeed a mapping error (most likely), or that this waterfall is actually just an upper section to Carter Falls and Madcap Falls really is found upstream. Until further data comes to light to prove one or the other theory, we will assume the situation to simply be a mapping error and that this is indeed the correct feature to bear the name Madcap.
- Madcap Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Madcap Falls is accessed along the Wonderland Trail from the Carter Falls trailhead, just down the road from the entrance to the Cougar Rock campground in Mt. Rainier National Park. Drive 8 miles east of the Nisqually entrance, or 6.5 miles west of the turn off to Paradise, to the marked trailhead. The trail starts off crossing the ever-changing Nisqually River (the bridges over which may occasionally be out). After climbing above the river, the Wonderland trail parallels the Paradise River for 1.1 miles to Carter Falls at a signed viewpoint. Proceed about 500 feet past Carter Falls to a fenced viewpoint above this rushing cascade of the Paradise River.