Scenic USA - Washington

Christine Falls

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Christine Falls - Mount Rainier National Park, Ashford, Washington

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   While the majority of Mount Rainier National remains wilderness, nearly 97 percent, the park still packs in millions of casual sightseers during the peak summer months. Its park roads lead through thick evergreen forests, passed splendid views of Mount Rainier, and dozens of roadside attractions and short hikes.
   One of Mount Rainierís popular attractions can be found at roadside. Here, just seven miles west of the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center, the Upper Christine Falls (inset) is visible from the road. This waterfall Upper Christine Falls quickly gathers a crowd. Itís unfortunate that sightseers donít spend the extra effort of exploring just a little bit further, when the photogenic lower falls lies just out of sight across the highway (SR 706). A steep stone staircase leads down to the lower falls viewpoint. This classic view, framed by the Christine Falls Bridge, is a reward for the curious.
   Christine Falls has a total drop of 69 feet along this section of Van Trump Creek. Christine Falls was named after Philemon Beecher Van Trumpís daughter. Van Trump, born in Lancaster, Ohio, was one of the first to document a successful climb to the Mount Rainier summit. The Stevens-Van Trump historic monument, commemorating the first climb, is found along the Sycamore Trail. Van Trump also led John Muir to the summit in 1888. Van Trump went on to participate in Muir's Sierra Club and successfully campaigned for the creation of Mount Rainier National Park.

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