Flag placed on summit, May 2005
|Elevation||4,280 feet (1,300 m)+ |
|Parent range||Chugach Mountains|
|Topo map||USGS Anchorage B-6|
|Easiest route||From the south side|
Mount POW/MIA is a mountain in the U.S. state of Alaska that has been dedicated to all the soldiers that are or have been given the status of Prisoner of War or Missing in Action (POW/MIA). The mountain is just north of Eklutna Lake and is west of Twin peaks and Bull Peak, six miles southeast of Wasilla in Chugach State Park. There is a POW/MIA flag placed atop of Mount POW/MIA and is replaced annually by the Local Colony Army JROTC program during Memorial weekend in May. The black and white flag was designed by the National League and has been flown at the White House.
This mountain was recently named by the efforts of John Morrissey, a Vietnam veteran from Patterson, New York. Morrissey, with the help of veterans advocate Leo Kaye, pressed the USGS to recognize the mountain as a monument for all American soldiers that have been prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA) in America's past and future conflicts. At this time there are over 800,000 soldiers still classified as POW/MIA. The two veterans' mission was completed on Veterans Day 1999 with the official naming of the mountain. John Morrissey died in New York September 19, 2007. His ashes were placed to rest on the mountain on June 17, 2008.
The first ascent by Colony JROTC was in May 1999. The mountain was formally named by USGS in 1999 and is currently the highest, largest natural "Living Monument" in the world.
The mountain is easily seen from the Alaska Veterans Wall in Palmer, Alaska located next to the Glenn Highway/Parks Highway Interchange and from American Legion Susitna Valley Post 35, Parks Highway Mile 46. The hike is moderate and can be done within one day, but is best done between May and August. Early in the season a climber can glissade a snow field between 250 and 500 ft long. There is no actual trail, hikers can follow a topo map.