Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mildred Point via Comet Falls

A great day in the mountains with stunning waterfall views. This rare loop trip (normally ruled out by winter hazards along the Comet Falls trail) was made reasonable by the unusually low snow depths. Our ascent route was Wonderland Trail to Cougar Rock, cross country to Comet Falls trailhead, then snow covered trail to Mildred Point (descent by the usual Rampart Ridge route).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We brought snowshoes and micro-spikes but did not use them.  The bridge near ~4800’ on the Comet Falls trail is out (unsure whether it was taken out by excess water or the park service), fortunately the water level was just low enough to allow our passage:


    All the other bridges were in great shape, and the one just above Comet Falls was particularly appreciated:


    …especially so due to the abyss a short distance below:


Our recent scramble graduates did a great job leading us on our cross country map/compass segment to the Comet Falls trailhead.  We added a short detour for some future trip beta: there are still remnants of the early 1900s Longmire-Paradise road (below and parallel to the existing road), and this roadbed remnant appears to facilitate (with a short bit of road walk near Christine Falls) a cross country route to the Nisqually Bridge parking area.  This would facilitate a longer Longmire based loop to Wilson Park (with return via Rampart Ridge).  We only followed the road bed until blocked by Van Trump Creek:


We soon made our way to Comet Falls:


…and from there to our high point of the day, Mildred Point:


A very enjoyable day in spite of almost continuous precipitation (mostly snow, freezing level ~3000’ in the AM, rising to ~4000’ later in the day).  Our total time was 8 hours with 5 hours for the ascent on this ~3600’ gain/~12 mile trip.  Photos from this (and other) trips to this venue can be seen here.