The United States Congress designated the Glacier View Wilderness (map
) in 1984 and it now has a total of 3,078 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Washington
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The Glacier View Wilderness is bordered by
the Mount Rainier Wilderness
to the east.
For an extravagant look at the glacier-covered west side of Mount Rainier, hike to the top of 5,450-foot Glacier View in the northwest corner of this Wilderness, which, coincidentally, shares a portion of the western boundary of Mount Rainier National Park. The annual snowfall can exceed 25 feet, and the snowmelt here tumbles down eventually into the South Puyallup River, filling nine small alpine lakes in a rich meadowed basin hidden by long ridges on both sides. Some of these lakes dry up in summer. You'll find cold water in Goat Lake, Lake West, and Lake Christine year-round. The forest cover is heavy with fir, pine, hemlock, and cedar, and thick with an understory of ferns, mosses, beadlily, trillium, and other sweet wildflowers. Elk and mountain goats graze the basin in the summer. The 1.8-mile Lake Christine Trail enters near the southern end of the area and passes Lake Christine to hook up with the Puyallup Trail, which goes 2.5 miles north and east to Goat Lake and then into the park or west to join the 2.9-mile Glacier View Trail. A side trail off the Lake Christine Trail allows you to climb 5,475-foot Mount Beljica for another breathtaking view. The Glacier View Trail continues north, with side trails to Glacier View itself and Lake West, and proceeds to Lake Helen, which is outside the Wilderness boundary.