Beating the crowds of the National Parks can be tricky. We try to find off the beaten path hikes & adventures. If you find yourself in near Mt. Rainier National Park and are looking for amazing views of Rainier & possibly a day hike adventure look no further than the nearby Glacier View Wilderness region just west of the National Park. Here, there is a trail called Goat Lake Trail that splits to another trail to Gobblers Knob, a lookout point with some of the best views of Rainier.
We spoke with the ranger in the Park to determine exactly where we could find this trail & the conditions. The trail was pretty good even in springtime, with just a few small snow patches here and there. The ranger did say that this was one of the best views he knew of Mount Rainier. That had us pretty excited!
The trail starts right near the Copper Creek & goes to Goat Lake. At the lake, we split to ascend up to Gobblers Knob (note: there are no signs at the lake suggesting where this trail is but it is fairly east to figure out). You can camp at the lake, but it was pretty buggy & we didn’t think the views were that special.
We were thinking about camping up here because we wanted an awesome view of Rainier to wake up to. Soooo, we carried our backpacks with us, which means a lot of extra weight! And we did not even camp up here (there wasn’t really a flat spot on the ridge & the lake was unappealing).
Anyway, so you quickly will find signs once you start to ascend to Gobblers Knob. Here, you exit Glacier View Wilderness & enter Mount Rainier National Park. The trail is steep but it was totally worth it!
At the top of the ridge there is a lookout tower that was used in the 30’s to look for fires. Its no longer in use & its boarded up; however, you can climb the steps to amplify the view.
You can see Mt. St. Helens & Mt Hood to the south & a sweeping view of many peaks of the Cascade Mountain range. There’s a mountain view literally in every direction you look. And whats best – Mt. Rainier shows up to the east towering in the sky in front of you. Many people do this as a sunset hike. We left around sunset & this meant a long hike down in the near dark. That was interesting!
Bonus: It’s dog friendly! Wilderness areas allow dogs, unlike the National Parks. Get your fix of seeing Mount Rainier without having to even enter the Park!