Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Mount Wow Traverse

A short and blueberry sweet traverse of Mount Wow, with good air conditions, views of Mt Rainier, and some northwest original brush craft. Ascended past Lake Allen from the West Side Road, then descended via the Boundary Trail to the Nisqually entrance.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Dew free vegetation and no rain afforded a quick ascent to Lake Allen and the summit.  Relatively smoke free conditions (and blueberries ;) were greatly appreciated, with fully grown brush in the basin west of the false summit (5,614 ft) less so.  The intermittent stream in this basin at ~4,500 ft is still flowing.  The Boundary Trail continues its decline with ever more debris accumulating each year.

An interesting traverse passing Lake Allen, which included succulent (and very sweet) blueberries in the meadows south of the summit.  Due to weekend automotive backups at the Nisqually entrance (sometimes up to a mile), we staged a car inside the park entrance (0.3 mile) at a non-paved wide spot on the road shoulder (a few feet west of the open vista overlooking the Nisqually River).  We left the West Side Road at an elevation of ~2,450 ft (~1.6 miles from the intersection with the road to Longmire, and ~2.6 miles from the Nisqually entrance).   After the direct line to Lake Allen, we ascended lush meadows over on an old avalanche track in a NNE direction, before traversing steep open meadows to intersect the normal route at ~5,600 ft.  On descent to the Boundary Trail we minimized brush travel in the basin west of the false summit by descending its northern margin to ~4,800 ft, before traversing and resuming our descent along its southern margin through more open and mature forest.  From the intermittent stream at 4,500 ft we traversed SSW to regain the ridge crest that led us west, and back to the intersection with the Boundary Trail at ~4,200 ft.  Total time for this 7 mile/4000’ gain trip was 6 hours with 2:40 up, and 3:20 down.  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.