Hike to Gobbler's Knob

Details

Distance

5 miles

Elevation Gain

1500 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Stephen Matera

A hike and mountain bike two-for. Spectacular, unobstructed closeup views of the West side of Mt. Rainier from Summit to Valley. 4 mile bike ride (8 miles r/t), 1,400' elevation gain up an abandoned road. 5 mile r/t hike with 1,500' of elevation gain. No crowds! Fire Lookout.

Entering the Park from the Southwest Entrance, bear left when you approach the forking Westside Rd. This road has been closed a few miles in due to massive rockfall. When you reach the road closure, just park along the side of the road. In Spring and Summer, you should be able to see plenty of other cars about, as the road is now used as a popular trail system for the Western half of the park. The trail is straightforward for the vast majority of your hike.

Follow the road for about 4.5 miles up the abandoned pass until you see a large, obvious car pull off on the left with a bike rack. You'll know you're in the right place if you see the small sign that reads, "Lake George Trail." From here, Lake George is only about a mile and a half. It's a fantastic little primitive site with 5-8 spots and a small Ranger Outpost. On still mornings, the lake is like glass, and offers some incredible reflections. This area comes highly recommended for anybody looking for a peaceful overnight or weekend trip.

Follow the signs along the right side of Lake George that point you towards "Gobblers Knob," which is only about a mile from the lake. Don't let the short distance fool you into thinking it's a walk in the park. From the lake, you can see Gobblers Knob towering thousands of feet above you, and it is just as steep a hike as it looks.

As you approach the summit, you'll catch glimpses of why the abandoned fire lookout is one of my absolute favorite hikes in the country. On the summit, take a breather and let the full majestic beauty of Mt. Rainier wash over you.

Sunset here is magnificent, as is the night-sky. We recommend to pack headlamps and stick around for the night time. We packed in our hammocks and sleeping bags and set up underneath the lookout balcony. While we didn't stay the entire night, many have, and I'm sure sunrise is just as beautiful.

Be careful hiking down at night! The trail is steep and it can be easy to lose your footing.

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Reviews

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Try Mount Beljica . . .

A better view in our opinion, with a cute lake along the way (Christine Lake), tons of avalanche lilies, and a jaw dropping view of Mt. Rainier at the edge of a vertigo inducing bluff. It's right outside the park entrance, so you'll save $$ too! On a clear day, you'll see St. Helens, the High Rock lookout, and with binoculars, you can even see Commencement Bay in Tacoma! Gobbler's Knob is still a great hike, but we like Beljica more.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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