Though shown by name on most maps of Mount Rainier National Park, Pearl Falls is one of the most difficult waterfalls to reach in the park. The falls hurtle off the lip of a huge cliff of basalt just east of Pyramid Park, into a large amphitheater like basin similar to Comet Falls. There doesn't seem to be any indication that the falls have ever been measured, but topographic data obtained using LIDAR imaging (which is usually remarkably accurate) suggests the falls are about 310 feet tall. Accessing the falls on foot is possible, but difficult, likely requiring at least two days to complete. The falls can, however, be seen distantly from near Ricksetter Point, along Highway 706. Though not exactly awe-inspiring at this distance, they are notable and will probably draw stares from young and old alike.
- Pearl Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Pearl Falls was named in 1912, by Albert Henry Barnes, a Tacoma photographer who spent many years working in the park, for the fact that spray from the falls resembles pearls under the proper light conditions.
Pearl Falls are visible from Highway 706, near Ricksetter Point, in Mount Rainier National Park. Driving east from Longmire towards Paradise, cross the Nisqually Trestle, and turn right at the one-way drive at Ricksetter Point Â½ mile east of the bridge. Park, and walk back down the road for several hundred feet to where the falls can be seen distantly. The falls can only be seen for a short stretch of road, thanks to hillsides in the foreground. The falls should be accessible on foot by traveling east, cross-country, from Pyramid Park to the rim of the canyon where the falls are located. There are no trails to the falls and a minimum of about 3 miles of off-trail travel will be required to see it up close.