Ascent of Blue Mounds on 2014-10-19

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, October 19, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Blue Mounds
    Elevation:1719 ft / 523 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is the most prominent and most isolated peak in Wisconsin, and located in a popular State Park with easy road access. There is a fee to enter the park, $7 for in-state cars, $10 for out-of-state. When I was there on a Sunday in October, the gate was open but unmanned, and a sign said I had to pay anyway. Fortunately I had a 10-dollar bill on me, which I put in an envelope to make myself legal. Another car there did not have any change and went back down to get some in the nearby town. My guess is that during these off-season times that enforcement is not super strong if you wanted to make a quick dash to the top.

Access is easy from US 18, you can follow signs to the State Park through the hamlet of Blue Mounds.

This “peak” is a bit unsatisfying since the summit area is a vast, flat, field of mowed lawn covering 6 acres. It would take a couple days to grid the whole thing. There is a benchmark on a pillar near the NE corner, and after standing on that I meandered across the field, looking for the absolute highest spot, but it is very hard to tell.

If you have time and want to get your money’s worth here, climb the two observation towers and hike some the nice woodland trails that surround the summit area. I Earlized the peak by parking in the “Pool Area” where a number of trails gain 200’ or so to the summit area.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:244 ft / 74 m
    Total Elevation Loss:244 ft / 74 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:204 ft / 62 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:Spring House
    Start Trailhead:Pool Area  1515 ft / 461 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:244 ft / 74 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 204 ft / 62 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Gain on way out:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:Indian Marker Tr
    End Trailhead:Pool Area  1515 ft / 461 m

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