Narada Falls to Reflection Lake Hike
The hike between Narada Falls and Reflection Lake is a moderate trek in Rainier National Park that links the serene Reflection Lake with the thundering Narada Falls. Instead of driving to see both, you can take this enjoyable trail in between.
This trail can be hiked in either direction, allowing you to tailor your adventure to your day’s plans. On a hot day, the cool mist of the falls and water of the lake is a welcome treat.
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Route Description for Narada Falls to Reflection Lake Hike
The Reflection Lake to Narada Falls hike can be done starting from either direction, but this route guide will go from the fall to the lake. If you’re interested in further exploring the network of trails in the area, grab a map from the Paradise Visitor Center.
The hike begins from the Narada Falls parking lot, from where you’ll cross the stone bridge and walk downhill on an obvious trail. A viewpoint emerges at 0.2 km, which is a good place to enjoy the falls before continuing. Leaving the viewpoint, keep heading downhill until you reach a T junction with the Wonderland Trail. Turn left and climb gradually.
At the 2.1 km mark, cross Stevens Canyon Road. Soon thereafter, you’ll reach another junction, this one with the Lakes Trail. Go to the right and begin to approach the largest of the Reflection Lakes. If you want to lengthen your hike, you can take the Lakes Trail to complete a 4.8 km loop.
Past the middle of the first lake, the trail rises into a paved walkway. After 400 yards, follow the trail away from the road. You’ll reach a junction at the 3.2 km point, and you’ll want to go left on the trail signed as Lakes Trail. Follow this for 4.0 km, pausing at the Faraway Rock viewpoint. The view here is fantastic, with Louise Lake below, Stevens Canyon to the east, and Tatoosh Ridge to the south.
Another junction appears at 4.3 km. Go left to take the Lakes High Trail and follow this route for 6.1 km. At the next junction, the route is the same regardless of the loop you take. You’ll follow the signs to Paradise, cross a road, and pick up the trail at the end of the gravel pullout. At the Paradise River, cross on the bridge, then cross another road soon after. The trail resumes at a small waterfall beyond the road.
You’ll continue 0.4 km, passing a stellar stretch of cascading river. At 8.0 km, the trail concludes near the facilities of Narada Falls.
Narada Falls is said to be the most popular waterfall in Mount Rainier National Park, and it certainly draws the most visitors of all the falls in the park. This is an impressive two-tiered waterfall that drops 188 feet over its two tiers.
The pristine Reflection Lakes are a huge draw for photographers in the parks, who love to capture the mirror image of Mount Rainier on the water’s surface. The lakes are hugely popular at sunrise and sunset for photographers, but see many visitors throughout all parts of the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you swim in Reflection Lake?
No, swimming is prohibited in Reflection Lake, and many of its banks are closed for meadow restoration.
Insider Hints for Narada Falls to Reflection Lake Hike
- The trail is best hiked in the early-mid afternoon when the falls are lit up by the sun.
- The trail can hold on to snow into the summer months, so be prepared to navigate some snowy patches.
- If it has rained recently, the trail can be wet. Take your time in muddy sections.
Getting to the Narada Falls to Reflection Lake Hike Trailhead
To reach the Narada Falls to Reflection Lake trailhead from the west entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, drive 23.3 km east on State Route 706 to the Narada Falls Trailhead parking lot. From the east entrance, drive 23.3 km to the Narada Falls Trailhead parking lot.
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