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Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Tokaloo Rock

Overnight trip camping in Tokaloo alpine zone, including scrambles of Andrews and Tokaloo, plus hike of Aurora, and some biking.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Biking road to Round Pass in good shape.  South Fork Puyallup trail with one older erosion area, follow the cairns and flagging, and one new washout, with a rough trail cut in above.  Wonderland trail in good shape, just a few trees down, but easy to step over.  

We had reserved a permit previously, so had to check in with rangers at Longmire.  Then retraced our drive, and went up the Westside Road.  Biking to Round Pass was easier than I had remembered from the past, as the road has had some repair work done on it.  Note: recommend to travel very light, and/or use panniers or strap items to a rack, as a full pack on back in the biking position can be tough.  NPS has installed a nice new bike rack at Round Pass too!

From Round Pass, we followed the standard route, pausing to filter water a quarter mile up the Wonderland towards Emerald Ridge, where there is a lovely stream with lots of water.  We also paused on the way to the highpoint when huckleberries presented themselves.  Leaving the trail at 6000', the route finding was easy, with occasional tread in place.  From where the route meets up with those coming directly from Andrews Lake, there was some rock to traverse, but nothing too difficult.   We located a campsite between the two tarns on the USGS map, where there is a constructed rock wall.  Others bivy-ed up on the ridge.  The higher tarn is really becoming a mud puddle, the lower tarn still had a small trickle of snowmelt entering.  Not sure how much longer they will be present.  Global warming!

We scrambled Andrews before dinner, nice wide summit.  Might consider camping there in the future.  Saturday, we scrambled Tokaloo, taking between 1.5-2 hours to get to the summit from camp, pausing for lots of photography, and some route-finding.  Main challenge was the traverse to the west side of Tokaloo Rock; we first tried just above the Spire, but terrain too loose and steep.  Heading up higher, we found a better way around, and a sense of prior tread.  Head for the north end of the rock, then follow an easy ramp to the summit.  

Heading down was mostly easy, heading back to camp to pack up.  Our next mission was to follow the way down to Andrews Lake, where the group split.  Those who had already been to Aurora filtered water and rested, while the others checked that one off, taking about a one hour detour.  Once re-joined, it was back down the Wonderland, down the South Puyallup, find our bikes, and breeze down the road.  

Overall, trip involved some beautiful terrain, relative solitude after leaving the Wonderland, huckleberries, great weather with fab views of active glaciers, and an emphasis on water as it was hot and dry up there.  I would recommend this 2 day plan, although I know it is technically possible to do it in one day.  

 

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