Manke Mountain in Nisqually State Park by Mashel Prairie / 曼奇山

  • Reading time:6 mins read

Manke Mountain in Nisqually State Park sits west of Hugo Peak. Mashel Prairie nestles below the west, bearing infamous ties to the 1856 Mashel (Maxon) Massacre. It also marked the last episode of the Puget Sound Indian war.

Manke Mountain's unassuming high point
Manke Mountain’s unassuming high point

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Manke Mountain at a Glance

Access: Mashel Prairie Road
Round Trip: 4.3 miles
Elevation Range: 660′-908′
Gear: none
Route Info: Scott Rigtrup
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes
Playlist: Beats, Beats, Beats

Nisqually State Park in Ohop Valley

I first saw Manke Mountain on the map during my recent trip to Hugo Peak. So today, we braved the 80% chance of rain in the South Cascades and came into the Ohop Valley. It was a perfect short outing for this rainy day.

We started from the trash-scattered gate, where the park split into saddlebags before Mashel Prairie. It’s the closest starting point to the summit, under a mile away. It’d also let us retreat quickly should the rain turn into showers.

Walking in the rain
Walking in the rain

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Through Manke Mountain Summit

With many horseshoe tracks and dumping, the main road took us up top before dipping to the west. Soon, the modest high point greeted us amid light brambles. Despite the open terrain, the tall foliage may limit the views even on a clear day.

Dropping 200′ down the west with spotty south views, we turned east along the park boundary. Soon, a side trail took us atop the Nisqually by the cliffs. Through the small viewpoint, we saw the water plus the Pack Forest.

A bit of the Pack Forest from Manke Mountain
A bit of the Pack Forest from Manke Mountain

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Looping Above Nisqually River and Out

Two hunters and a dog walked by before we returned to the main roadway. Much of the path on the south side was muddy with puddles. A network of marked trails between the roads offered many possible route options.

It started raining again, so we didn’t explore much else. On the way back, we took a slight detour to let a hiker and his two dogs pass. Then, with a nosy squirrel’s blessing, we exited a nearby gate and walked 500′ to the car.

A curious squirrel
A curious squirrel

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