Hike Distance: 10.8 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 961.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1936 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 102484 feet
We headed out to Mt. Rainier again and decided to try the trail to Lake George. The Westside Road is in very good condition with only a few potholes, and they weren’t too bad. The temperature was very pleasant today with winds gusting and cooling us down further. In addition, we didn’t see any snow on the road or trail today, and were glad we left the micro-spikes in the car.
Several miles up Westside Road it is gated and locked, and there is a small parking area. We had to park a short distance down the road as the main parking area was filled. We weren’t sure why this road was gated, as the conditions were quite good, but this is now considered a multi-use trail. As such, we saw several bicycles making use of this very long road. About four miles up the road is where the “real” trail for George Lake is spawned. From the maps, it appears that many trails start from this now converted road, and we’ll be back to access them!
The Lake George trail goes much further than the lake, and can be taken to Gobblers Knob (a favorite with the hikers we met), but we didn’t want a 12+ mile hike today. The distance to Lake George is only about one mile, and about 2/3 of that is ascending. There is a nice view of Mt. Rainier along the way.
Lake George is a magnificent high elevation lake, and a great destination for those who backpack. We didn’t stay long as we had a 5+ mile return hike, and it was already very late. We actually started our hike just before 2pm as we got out of the house late, and the delay to get into the park was about 1/2 hour. 😦
This is a magnificent area to explore and we will definitely be coming back here as much as possible. Despite the large number of cars, it felt like one of the less used areas we’ve been in at Mt. Rainier NP. Beware that at this time of year the biting flies were out in force. We saw one couple turn around after being harassed by these pests. We, however, were outfitted in long pants and long sleeved shirts, and felt shielded from the misery. 🙂 A truly fantastic area and awesome day!