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Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier Area, Washington

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Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike

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  • View up to Mount Wow (6,030') from the parking area. The cliffside is known for morning mountain goat sightings.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Hiking on the closed section of the Westside Road along Tahoma Creek.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • A glimpse of Mount Rainier (14,411')  from Westside Road.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • The trail leading up to George Lake.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Shaggy parasol (Chlorophyllum olivieri).- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Bunchberry (Cornus unalaschkensis).- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • A glimpse of Mount Rainier (14,411') en route to George Lake.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • George Lake trail.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • George Lake, Mount Rainier National Park.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • George Lake, Mount Rainier National Park.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • George Lake from designated campsites.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • George Lake shelter.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Flakey bark of the Alaska yellow cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis).- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • George Lake.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • George Lake.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Below the surface of George Lake.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Unidentified fish species in Geoge Lake (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Spread-leaved peat moss (Sphagnum squarrosum).- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • View up to Gobblers Knob Lookout Tower (5,485') from George Lake.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Cascade blueberry (Vaccinium deliciosum).- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Trail up to Gobblers Knob.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Looking up toward Gobblers Knob.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Gobblers Knob Lookout Tower (5,485').- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Mount Rainier (14,411') from Gobblers Knob lookout tower.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Panoramic view of Mount Rainier (14,411') and Mount Wow (6,030') from Gobblers Knob.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Looking down from the Gobblers Knob Lookout Tower.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Mount Rainier sunset from Gobblers Knob lookout tower.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Mount Rainier sunset from Gobblers Knob lookout tower.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Sunset view of Unicorn Peak (6,971') from Gobblers Knob.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Mount St. Helens (8,365') from Gobblers Knob.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • View toward Goat Lake from Gobblers Knob.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Mount Rainier sunset from Gobblers Knob lookout tower.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Sunset from Gobblers Knob.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
  • Hiking on the closed section of the Westside Road along Tahoma Creek.- Gobblers Knob + Lake George Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Sunset view of Mount Rainier. Swimming in George Lake. Seven backcountry campsites.
Cons: 
Westside Road partially closed (hike on a 3.8-mile stretch of gravel road).
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Region:
Mount Rainier Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
National Park Pass
Total Distance: 
11.20 mi (18.02 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
2,850 ft (869 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
2,635 ft (803 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy until evening.
50°F
37°

Sun

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
55°F
37°

Mon

Light rain until evening.
48°F
40°

Tue

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
61°F
41°

Wed

Mostly cloudy in the morning.
67°F
44°

Thu

Clear throughout the day.
69°F
45°

Fri

Light rain overnight.
65°F
46°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Even when Mount Rainier National Park's Westside Road was open, the western slopes of Mount Rainier were the mountain's most remote and protected areas. With the Westside Road's official, and what appears to be permanent, closure in 2007, the park's western side is now only accessible to backpackers, which makes the area ideal for those hoping to avoid the crowds at Paradise and Sunrise.

Of all the destinations on Mount Rainier's west side, the turquoise waters of Lake George and the lookout tower at Gobbler's Knob are the most accessible and provide the most dramatic views of the 14,411-foot stratovolcano.

If you arrive early at the parking area for the Westside Road's locked gate, look up at the rugged eastern face of Mount Wow, as mountain goats are known to frequent this rocky face around dawn. Once on the trail, you'll follow the closed and unmaintained Westside road for 3.7 miles before you make the steep ascent up to Lake George. An additional 1,200-foot climb through a thick forest of noble fir (Abies procera), Alaska yellow cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis), and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) leads to the exposed and very rewarding Gobblers Knob Lookout Tower.*

* Built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Gobblers Knob Lookout Tower is one of four fire lookouts in the park. The others are located at Tolmie Peak, Mount Freemont, and Shriner Peak.

Note: Be sure to reserve and pick up a wilderness permit, which is required for all backpacking within the park, especially if you plan to overnight at one of Lake George's six backcountry campsites. Should these campsites already be booked, you can plan to hike an additional 1.6 miles to Goat Lake in the Glacier View Wilderness (outside of the national park), which does not require camping permits.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(21 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(59 within a 30 mile radius)

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