Panoramic Views from old lookout tower
This is one of the most exceptional hikes in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness. You can actually make as many hikes out of this one as you'd like to; ie Pansy Lake by itself, or Bull of the Woods Mtn and back without the loop; or whatever you imagination can create.
You begin a gentle climb through large standing timber, no doubt old growth. The trail crosses several small streams and is often lined with the wonderful Rhododendron. At about a mile you come to the junction to Trail #549. Keep right here to follow the trail to Pansy Lake, just .2 miles ahead. At the next fork, you can take the trail to the right that leads down to the lake and a small campground. After taking in the view of the lake, return to the main trail and take a right following the sign for Twin Lakes. After 0.8 miles you'll come to another junction. Turn left on trail #558 which climbs steeply 1.9 miles to a junction with trail #554. Turn left here and follow the trail 0.7 miles to the old lookout tower. It's not staffed anymore but you can climb up and treat yourself to panoramic views, everything from Mt. Rainier to the Three Sisters. After soaking in the views, continue on the trail (which is now trail #550) for 1.1 miles to a signed junction. Turn left here on trail #549 which goes 1.3 miles back to the Pansy Lake trail you first started on. Along the trail a short spur trail to the left takes you down to Dickey Lake, another small lake. At the junction with the Pansy Trail (#551), turn right and follow it 0.8 miles back to the trailhead.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.