The Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) segment that runs from Alger to Squire Lake Park has a divergence to the top of Alger Alp, a short mountain in the Chuckanut Range. The southern “ascent” on a service road is accessible within the town of Alger, from Alger Cain Lake Road. The trail is even, moderate, and walkable year-round, and expansive views are at the top, with glimpses of Koma Kulshan on clear days.
The trailhead is marked by a gate just to the north of Alger Cain Lake Road. Pass through the gate onto the gravel access road (road 1000), and proceed north to begin your hike. Stroll under a canopy of cedars, Douglas fir, alder and big leaf maple. Ground cover and wildflowers include foxglove, Himalayan blackberry, Cascade Oregon grape, ferns, devil’s club, salmonberry, thimbleberry, pearly everlasting, herb-Robert, mosses and horsetail. You are likely to encounter European brown slugs (Arion rufus) climbing plants or crossing the trail.
After 0.5 mile the climb begins in earnest, steadily gaining 600 feet per mile until the summit. At 0.76 mile keep right at an intersection with Road 1100 (sign is to the right of the path). At 1.06 miles the road flattens out for a brief break, and then the steady ascent resumes. At 1.33 miles Road 1200 veers to the left. Stay on Road 1000 to the right, and at 1.49 miles look to your right for peek-a-boo views of the Alger Alp summit.
At 1.64 miles from the start, Road 1300 veers off to the left. Go right at the fork (here Road 1000 has signage). The track narrows slightly and snakes up the ridge of the summit, paying off with an opening at 2.22 miles. Look across the valley to Blanchard Mountain to the west, Samish Bay and the Olympics to the southwest and Skagit Valley to the south. On occasion, hang gliders may launch from the summit.
WTA pro tip: consider bringing two cars to perform a point-to-point hike between Squires Lake Park and Alger, combining the Alger Alp South and the Alger Alp North route.