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The loop to the top of Battle Ax is probably the most scenic short loop in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. You just have to endure the slow, rocky, potholed road up to Elk Lake in order to partake of the visual feast. You will pass a series of lush tarns, which harbor mosquitoes late into the summer, before gaining incredible views, from Mount Rainier to the Three Sisters as you switchback up to the old lookout site on Battle Ax’s summit ridge. Coming down the north ridge, you’ll get a glimpse of the formations on the mountain’s rugged west face as well as across to Mount Beachie’s spectacular northeast ridge. (NOTE: As of 2019 this route has not seen maintenance in quite some time. Expect fallen trees, brushy conditions, and places where the trail is sliding downhill.)


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