A faint animal path/climber's trail leads you up and over Union Peak
to the summit of Jove Peak. The "trail" is good in places, but makes up for it in other places by being faint when visible at all. As long as you stay on the ridge line, getting lost shouldn't be an issue, and the views from the summit are well worth it.
See the "Getting There" section on the Jove Peak
A faint "trail" leading towards Union Peak.
From the trailhead, ascend a faint "climber's trail" westbound along Nason Ridge towards Union Peak. Either side of the ridge is wooded with semi-dense underbrush, but the ridge itself is fairly easy to follow. Ironically, the first 20 minutes of the trail are the hardest to follow. If you're feeling lost, just stay and the ridge, and keep ascending.
The apparent end of the trail?
After approximately 25- 30 minutes, reach a point where the "trail" at first glance apparently ends. Descend a short distance to climber's left (south), and bypass this cliffy section. This is the first area where you get a wide open view of Jove, Union, and all of the surrounding southern peaks. Be careful here, as a fall to the north (climber's right) will be fatal.
Union Peak summit.
Ascend the rest of the way up Nason Ridge to Union Peak. Stop here and take in the views. Also take note of your intended path down to the Union/Jove saddle, and up to the summit of Jove. While fairly wooded, the summit of Union is a nice broad plateau, and good views are easy to be had.
Following the trail down from Union Peak to the saddle with Jove Peak.
From the summit of Union Peak, descend about 500 feet to the saddle between Union and Jove. The trail here is really pretty decent. Resist the temptation to drop too far to the east. It's steep, brushy, and you'll have some rocky cliffs to deal with. Instead, follow the old red blazes down to the saddle.
Following blazes towards the summit of Jove Peak.
You'll notice a scant few random blazes prior to reaching the summit of Union Peak. As you descend towards the saddle, and then ascend towards the summit of Jove, you'll see a very well defined trail marked by red blazes. Follow these blazes to the summit. The ascent here is much easier if you follow the ridge as long as possible.
Near the summit of Jove Peak.
Resist the temptation to drop out of the woods too early. Follow the blazes as far as you can, once the southern slopes of Jove open up, pop out of the woods and ascend a steep
, at times loose grass and rock slope to the summit. Lake Janus is visible to the west, Glacier Peak is visible to the north, and of course, you get a beautiful 360 degree view of the Cascades.
Trailhead elevation 4,600 ft
Union Peak/Jove Peak saddle elevation 5,200 ft
Jove Peak summit elevation 6,007 ft
Travel time required: approximately four hours round trip.
Be sure to carry the 10 essentials, extra water (since none is found on the trail), and lots of bug spray. The mosquitoes on this trail are relentless!