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Hike of the Week: Lake West

Hike description: This hike takes you into the Glacier View Wilderness, through dense forest, past the old Glacier View lookout tower site and down to a treasure of a lake. A few steps from the parking lot is a junction. To the right is trail 248 to Goat Lake, Gobbler’s Knob and/or Lake Christine. You want the left fork, Trail 267 to Glacier View. The trail goes up and down and down and up, and is sometimes narrow as you make your way around a couple of small peaks. At about 2 miles from the road you will come to another junction. Go right, dropping down 600 feet and about half a mile to Lake West, your destination on this trip. If time permits, on the return, after climbing up from the lake take a right and go 0.3 miles to the old Glacier View lookout site and savor the views as you rest up before hiking out.

Directions: Drive Highway 706 toward Mount Rainier National Park and go through the town of Ashford. At 3.8 miles past Ashford turn left on Copper Creek Road No. 59, just before Copper Creek Inn and the 11-mile marker on Highway 706. Road 59 will take you to the trailhead parking lot at 4,500 feet, 9.1 miles from the highway.

Difficulty rating: 3 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)

Miles round-trip: 6

Elevation: 1,700 feet

Best time of year: July to October

Map: Green Trails 269 Mount Rainier West

Pass: Northwest Forest Pass

Also: Abide by wilderness regulations, stay on the trails and be a good steward, packing out your own trash, as well as any trash that others leave behind. The rules for which National Forest Service trailheads require passes keep changing. Check with the ranger and/or the Web site for current information. If you’re tempted to bring along a fishing pole, check on fishing regulations beforehand. Always carry the 10 essentials and adequate food and water for your hike. Remember that the weather in the mountains can change at any moment.

Information: Check the Gifford Pinchot Glacier View Wilderness Web site for pertinent road, trail, permit and parking regulations: www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/recreation/wilderness; “50 Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park,” Mountaineers Books.

Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee. For other hikes, visit www.thenewstribune.com/hiking.

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