Photo By Bob Bodnar................Sandy & Greg at Christine Falls, Mt Rainier
Christine Falls is the final waterfall along Van Trump Creek, falling 69 feet in drops of 32 and 37 feet respectively. The falls constitute one of the signiture views in Mount Rainier National Park, framed by the graceful Christine Falls Bridge. The falls have two tiers, one above and one directly underneath the bridge. Its unfortunately near impossible to get both the upper and lower tiers in the same photograph (it can be done with an ultra-wide lens, however). Geologically, Christine Falls has been one of the most unchanged waterfalls in the park, but on August 14th, 2001, a Glacial Debris Flow washed out of the Kautz Glacier and ran down Van Trump Creek. The flow left the entire creek canyon covered with mud, downed trees and rocks and as a result, Christine Falls has been altered. The lower tier remains the same, but a large chunk of rock fell out of the face of the upper tier, causing it to change form slightly. A more visible effect of the outburst flood, and the subsequent record setting floods in 2003 and especially in 2006 is that the creekbed has been scoured down to the bedrock, stripped free of all forms of vegetation.