Summary: For the first part of this hike you hike along what used to be the West Side Road for 2 1/2 miles. It is an easy grade and only rough in a few spots (the washout that closed the road). At the time that we went there were lots of blueberries and salmonberries to be picked along this road. When you reach the Round Gap sign, the official trail to Lake George begins. This trail itself is only .9 mi. and has a constant, but easily managed grade to it. Along this trail there are some spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and its glaciers.
The lake itself is hourglass shaped and there is a trail along the northwest side that continues to Gobbler's Knob and a few other peaks such as Mt. Wow. The lake is great for swimming and beginning fishermen.
Trailhead: Go to the Paradise enterance to Rainier National Park and about 1/2 mile past the ranger station, turn left onto the West Side Road. Take this for about three miles until it is blocked off by a chain. (Lat:46.78715 Lon:-121.90319)
Trail Guides for Lake George:
50 Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park
by Ira Spring and Harvey Manning (Mountaineers)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Rainier National Forest Ranger District 360-569-2211
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by R. Torrey Kitchens
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Bart on 7/11/2007
In Response to J.A. I have mixed emotions. I beleive it's FS Road 59 that takes you to the glacier view trail however It was blocked with downed trees about 1 month ago and had a good amount of snow still remaining on the road. You would probably end up walking further to get to the trailhead and then be walking a longer trail but it would be more scenic. If you take this way to Lake George you will first enter the Beljica meadows, followed by Goat Lake and then some big elevation changes as you pass by Gobblers Knob. I have never sucessfully completed this route but only tried in winter months. I'm sure it would be more difficult but you would see less people along the way. There is no reason to avoid westside road but you will save $15.
Reviewed by J.A.McGraw on 7/2/2007
Come on! This is great place to explore for a day or overnight trip but DON'T GO VIA THE WESTSIDE ROAD. The westside road is a really bad idea that will have you hiking up a gravel road most of your trip. By far the best route in to Lake George is through the Glacier View Wilderness. The Glacier View Wilderness was a late edition of land to Mount Rainier that abuts the parkâ€™s southwest corner. Ask the rangers at Longmire which forest service road to take to get to the glacier view trailhead (fyi: the road entrance is located right before the Copper Creek Inn on your way toward the park). The hike to Lake George via this route is 4 easy miles! And you will be hiking the entire time in the wilderness instead of on a access road.
Reviewed by GAB on 7/30/2006
In order to make it to the lookout, where the closeup view of Mt Rainier is spectacular, without running out of daylight, make the outing a Bike and Hike : Mountain bike to the trailhead (There's a bike rack) and hike to the lake and lookout.
Reviewed by Rick on 8/29/2005
OK, we have to agree with Johan on his review... whoever submitted this hike must have been there before the road was closed or something. Because it is a good 3 or 4 miles up on a very uninteresting service road before you even get to real hiking. The 1 mile hike from Round Pass up to the lake is pretty steep and uphill the entire time. The lake itself is gorgeous and completely clear. But we could only stay like half an hour because it was getting late due to the VERY inaccurate hike distance above. Back down was misery. We had to pretty much run to make it before dark and we both almost collapsed. Unless you can get a park ranger to drive you up to Round Pass, don't waste your time. Total trip was at least 8 miles.
Reviewed by Johan Wallman on 8/10/2005
The hike is not 3 mile roundtrip, more like 11 miles! The first four miles after the carpark is on a gravel road (Westside Rd), which is pretty uninteresting. When you finally reach Round Pass, it's one mile to Lake George through nice forest. The lake is nice and apparantly the lookout and Goat lake are also worth the hike but I hadn't the time. On the other hand, i can highly recommend the hike to Upper Palisade Lake, around 10 miles roundtrip from Sunrise point. No view of Mt Rainier. On a very busy Sunday in August when Sunrise Visitor Centre looked like Disneyland, I only met like 5 other parties on this hike. There are some beautiful lakes (don't miss the detour to Hidden Lake)
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