This trail is short, two and a half miles to Gobbler's Knob, and moderately steep, requiring 1,600 feet of ascent. It leads to a mountain lake and historic fire lookout, that allows for panoramic views. What makes this trail lengthy is the three and a half mile approach to the trailhead along Westside Road. This approach includes 1,000 feet of elevation.
Begin this hike from the parking area on Westside Road immediately south of the closure gate. You'll be hiking along the road for three and a half miles before reaching the Lake George Trailhead. This segment of Westside Road climbs steadily at a moderate grade. The road is wide and easy to follow.
The Lake George Trailhead lies on the western side of the road. Turn left and follow the trail southward to the northern shore of Lake George. Along this mile the trail gains 400 feet. At the lake you'll find five individual campsites and one group site. There is a shelter available on a first come, first served basis.
Beyond Lake George the trail leads westward climbing the northeastern slopes of Mount Wow. One mile past Lake George, and 620 feet above it, the trail forks. The left side of the fork leads westward into the Glacier View Wilderness, reaching Goat Lake in one and a half miles. The right side of the fork leads one half mile to Gobbler's Knob. This rock outcrop is the highest peak at the northern end of the Mount Wow ridge. It stands at 5,485 feet with a manned fire lookout and views to the Olympic Range, Mount St. Helens and the Northern Cascades. The lookout has been manned since the 1930s. To return from Gobbler's Knob to the trailhead retrace your steps along the trail and road.
Directions: From Nisqually Entrance, Drive one mile east to a junction with Westside Road. Turn here and continue up the Westside Road to a closure, approximately 3 miles. The road may be open or closed depending on safety issues. If it is closed park near the closure gate and begin the hike to the trailhead. The Lake George Trailhead is 3.6 miles from the closure gate.
Elevation: 2,880 feet
Ending Elevation: 5,485 feet
Usage: Heavy on Summer Weekends
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Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
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