Ben There Done That: Glacier View Trail

The Glacier View Trail is a dog friendly-hike that ends with a spectacular view of the western face of Mount Rainier (Credit; Ben Dery, KING)
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If you’re looking to hike with your dog inside Mount Rainier National Park, you are out of luck. However, there are many hikes just outside the park that allow dogs and have magnificent views at the top!

Today we’re hiking a trail called Glacier View. It is dog-friendly, relatively short (four miles round trip), and offers unique up-close views of the west side of the big mountain.

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The hike begins eight miles off the main road just past Ashford. A winding road brings you to a small parking lot with a tiny sign labeled “Glacier View Trail." The road is rough and full of potholes, so make sure you have a vehicle that can handle some rocky terrain.

The majority of this hike is through the woods, which helps on a hot day. There are opportunities to take in the view of surrounding peaks, and occasionally Rainier itself pops out. The best view is at the top.

About a tenth of a mile into the hike, you come to a “T” on the trail. Make sure you go left. As you walk, watch out for huckleberry bushes. They are everywhere and should start ripening toward the end of August.

Your final destination is an outcrop of rock that leads to a wide open view of Mount Rainier’s western face. Being so close, it’s a view most of us are not used to. Each glacier shows up in great detail, and you can understand how the hike got its name.