Explore the most popular hiking trails in Mount Adams Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
2 days ago

Hiked this October 13th-14th. It was honestly a gorgeous climb and a great way to get introduced into the sport of mountaineering. I went with my school and unfortunately our groups fitness wasn’t the best and we only made it to around crescent glacier. The sunset was amazing on such a blue bird day, however the wind storm that ensued was pretty wicked 40+ mph winds at our camp and most likely much higher winds above. Still an awesome experience and some great views.

I would give this 4.75 stars if I could. There were a few spots where the trail was slightly hard to follow. Those were the only downsides though. Great views of Adams, Hood, and a sneak peek of Helens after Horseshoe Meadow. We saw plenty of late-blooming asters as well. The trail is very exposed sun-wise so we were glad to have waited for a cooler day. Lightly trafficked...we only saw one backpacker on the trail. Like a previous reviewer, we clocked about 12 miles round trip.

A good introduction to mountaineering. Can easily be done in a single day with an early start. Can stay over night at the Lunch Counter around 9000ft if you want to make it a two day trip. Nothing steeper than about 35 degrees or so. The two steepest parts are getting onto Suksdorf Ridge (which is short) and the climb up to Piker's Peak. Head straight up and trend right a little bit if needed, you don't want to get too far left when you top out at Piker's Peak, you can fall down the SW Chute if you're too far over that way. Just follow the trail and everyone else. After that drop down into the bowl and trend right towards the summit block and all the way up. Glissade down as far as possible. Check the weather and make sure you go during a good window if possible. I have stayed at the Lunch Counter with 60mph+ winds before and it is not an extremely fun experience. Even though it is easy, Adams is a big, prominent volcano and the weather can get extremely nasty, extremely fast; you need a 4 season tent for those days. Just make sure to check the weather. If it's forecasting 40mph+; it's better to way for another day.

Hard rating is accurate. Most of this climb is sans trail, rather, you just follow cairns with wood posts to guide you up through the volcanic scree to the South Face approach. Did this on a Mon/Tue and it was still fairly crowded, I can’t imagine a weekend crowd. The glissade chutes are an absolute blast and cut your decent time significantly!

We had a bluebird day (7/11/18). All my pictures just won't do justice for the amazing views we had.

great views, flowers, butterflies and sunshine. Not many trees there now hat and sunscreen is a must.

This trail is typically done in two days. Most people camp too early. I strongly suggest camping on your left-hand side of Lunch Counter right before the big push up. However, the right side did have a running stream from snow melt. All camp spots have access to snow for melting drinkable water. The camp spots are typically parapets made of lava rock with sandy floors. They make excellent wind breaks. We did this the last two days of July and I brought way too many warming layers. It was maybe 40°F on lunch counter and 60°+ in our 2-person summer lightweight. I suppose you should always prepare for a cold snap tho. Bring crampons and axe. The glissading chutes are deep and although steep, they are safe to slide down and I’ve been told on good years you can slide down all the way from the false summit to Lunch Counter. Bring a waterproof layer for glissading. Also, some snow gators would have been helpful. My wife’s feet remained dry with the gators, mine were soaked. Bring extra socks and leave another pair in the car. There was a large mountain sheep that gets within arms reach that apparently lives around Lunch Counter. The smoke from all the fires blocked our views of Hood, St. Helens, Rainier and others, but we could kind of make out the shapes. The top was super windy and cold. Bring some warm layers in daypack for the last ascent. I suggest snow gloves.

The Rangers’ at the ranger station were not very helpful. They warned of a massive thunderstorm when multiple websites we checked had “sunny w/ heat” advisory. I asked where she got her information which she seemed to take as a challenge, and said “NOAA is the only one you can trust for mountain climbing. Also you can’t see anything with the fires anyway.” SASSY! NOAA confirmed a heat advisory. We took her warning with skepticism and checked it out for ourselves. It was super sunny both days. I’m really just ranting at this point, but she would say things like, “conditions at altitude change in an instant,” and “It gets dark under those clouds real quick,” but when asked, she admitted she had not been up there and had no intention of climbing a mountain.

All things considered, this was a great climb. Will do again.

Direction warning...tried to do this today, but NF 23 is closed 28 miles from 8031. No mention of this is recent reports.

Hiked a car to car in 10.5hrs this Saturday, 7/28, started at 6am, back to the car at 4:30pm. 7hr ascent, 3.5hr descent. Crampons not needed but still recommended (I did see a lot of people using cleats though) Plenty of running water on the mountain. Summited at 1pm and peak was totally covered in clouds.. Glissading was very painful due to ice and hard to slow down. There were hundreds of people hiking on Saturday yet still managed to find a parking spot right at trail entrance #183. First time on Adams and was very fun despite cloudy peak and icy slide down!

Don’t underestimate Mount Hood. Lunch Counter is 100% snow feee with water. Glissade down was difficult do to icy hard chutes . . We summited at 8:30am.Hard to beat a sunrise at elevation . . Mountain shadow, etc . . But the downside this time of year is the iffy glissade down . . If you want an awesome glissade . . I would recommend a summit time around 11am. I would recommend crampons . . But spikes are probably good enough . . I just wouldn’t take the chance. Summit shack is just starting to come out. Summit weather at 8:30am was puuurfect . .zero wind, blue skies, and 5 Mountains were out: Rainier, Helens, Hood, Jefferson and 3 Sisters.

hiking
2 months ago

Direction warning...tried to do this today, but NF 23 is closed 28 miles from 8031. No mention of this is recent reports.

Great conditions right now - tough if you do it in one day

backpacking
3 months ago

Hiked this on 7/13. Did an overnight camp at lunch counter. Nothing really to add to the reviews already stated but I did want to let people know that the snow melting at lunch counter did create some running water. We weren’t sure and ended up filling up at Morrison Creek and carrying a lot of unneeded weight up to lunch counter. Check in with Forest Ranger when you get the permit to see how high up the running water is.

Other than that, amazing experience and great views. It was almost 100 degrees in Trout Lake, but still only 20-30F with wind chill on summit so make sure to bring layers.

Did it Car to Car, which made for 12.5 hours if hiking. A beautiful hike, yet it was hard for us to find any trail up the snow when the trail ended, and I don't know if we were looking in the wrong spot or if there was no trail at all.

This trail was amazing! We left the Trailhead at noon, arrived at Lunch Counter around 4. Setup camp in a very nice spot to watch a beautiful sunset! The wind was very lite and the sky was gorgeous! We headed for Pikers Peak around 6:30, made it to the summit before noon. The weather was beautiful with a lite wind on the summit. We glissaded most of the way back down to Lunch Counter. We broke camp and made it back to the trailhead around 5:30. Had an amazing hike!

John

Calorie burner; for the physically fit folks.

On June 26th we set off at 05:30 for one long day. We made the summit around 12noon. The climb was good and steady. We had crampons for the hard snow and I’m glad. Made the climb easier. The sky was crystal clear, blue and beautiful. The winds were relatively calm. The summit view was absolutely outstanding!!! The glissading was SO fun!!! We did the entire trip in one day. Excellent mountain!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike, pretty flowers and butterflies. I would definitely bring bug spray! I was happy I did. Once the sun started going down they were pretty bad. Gorgeous lake, stream crossings. Lovely hike! Not difficult to get to trailhead (although it is gravel). Pretty lightly trafficked.

hiking
3 months ago

Did this 6/5/18 just getting into Mt. Adam's, beautiful hike with tons of butterflies. Clocked in 12 miles round trip. Bring bug spray the mosquitoes are horrible in a couple spots.

e started our hike mid-day after checking into the range station the road to the trail head is a nice drive and snow free. I made a video of our hike, it shows conditions and what to expect, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/AZKL70HpL3M
The trail from the trail-head to Lunch Counter was very well marked both with a solid boot pack and with trail markers eventually we ended putting on our crampons for a short steep section and left them on until we arrived at lunch counter, I would say they are recommended but it can be completed without them. We set up camp at lunch Counter right at the base of Pikers Peak. There is still alot of snow at Lunch Counter however there are tons of spots that are snow free. We started our push up Pikers at around 3:30am there was clear skies and the snow was solid. we took our time going up and arrived at the summit around 8:30am. The trail was nice all the way to the base of the true summit where people took there own routes to the summit I would exercise caution in this section. overall It was a great hike with amazing views check out my experience at: https://youtu.be/AZKL70HpL3M

Be safe out there,
NW Adventures

we started our hike mid-day after checking into the range station the road to the trail head is a nice drive and snow free. I made a video of our hike, it shows conditions and what to expect, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/AZKL70HpL3M
The trail from the trail-head to Lunch Counter was very well marked both with a solid boot pack and with trail markers eventually we ended putting on our crampons for a short steep section and left them on until we arrived at lunch counter, I would say they are recommended but it can be completed without them. We set up camp at lunch Counter right at the base of Pikers Peak. There is still alot of snow at Lunch Counter however there are tons of spots that are snow free. We started our push up Pikers at around 3:30am there was clear skies and the snow was solid. we took our time going up and arrived at the summit around 8:30am. The trail was nice all the way to the base of the true summit where people took there own routes to the summit I would exercise caution in this section. overall It was a great hike with amazing views check out my experience at: https://youtu.be/AZKL70HpL3M

Be safe out there,
NW Adventures

backpacking
3 months ago

Didn't do lolly pop but hiked to Horseshoe Meadow, gorgeous. If you want an in your face view of Mt. Adams without walking on snow this time of year, this is a good place. There were a couple of steep parts on the way up, but it wasn't to bad. Only negatives were misquitos on the way up (pretty bad on a couple spots this time of year, but not nearly as bad at the meadow), and the lack if shade during the hike do to the 2012 fire. A decent amount of flowers and a ton of butterflies on the trail. We had the whole meadow to ourselves. Worthy destination!

Stayed the night at lunch counter Tuesday and summited Wednesday...beautiful day. Great glissading chute all the way from pikers peak down to lunch counter.

Good mountain. Hard but going back this weekend. Done this three times now and got to top twice. Pretty as can be

Just returned from climbing Mt. Adams It was absolutely a brutal climb with challenging weather to braking trail in one ft of fresh snow at the false summit is not fun.
On 12:15 pm April 28 we were the only climbers on false summit and on the entire Mt Adams, myself and my friend Carlie.
Since there where no any other foot steps or previous signs that any one has summited before. We decided to stop there.
Also hiking to South Camp is 5 miles from the last location where you can drive.
It rain, snow and freezes, don’t underestimate Mt Adams.
Adams has several saddle backs around 3 of them one in particular has 1.000 ft dropping approximately which will make you and break you.
Go conquer...respect the mountain. Be safe always leave to tell the story.

Went this past weekend to attempt summit. Had a late start and a 6 mile walk to the trail head where we set up camp for the night and decided to call it quits the next morning and will return to attempt the summit when the road is clear. Still spectacular views and a fun time camping out at the base. Good practice hike. If you want to attempt it with the road still snowed over, snow shoes will help you immensely, however crampons will do fine too.

I have been up this trail several times. I would consider this more of a gateway trail to Mt. Adams. It offers nice views up the Cascade Creek drainage and the Salt Creek Drainage. Graveyard Camp used to be a junction for the trail to Looking Glass Lake, it seems that the US Forest Service decided that the cut across trail does not need to be there. the sign is gone and the route is not shown on newer maps. (or the maps I have). I have the benefit of owning Columbia National Forest map from 1940. It's a shame so much history is forgotten. This area used to have shelters and structures all over the area.

Amazing climb, watch weather reports for snow later in the season. We climbed on 9/22 and had 2-3 feet of fresh snow in areas.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I did a summit on 8/24 and it was perfect weather for the opportunity. It was chilly which meant the ice stuck better as opposed to climbing up slush, but it was a blue sky, bright sun kinda day. I started the climb at 5am after sleeping in my car at the trailhead. I'm a pretty experienced hiker and occasional climber, but this was my first mountaineering experience. I successfully did it solo as no ropes were needed, but did have to use my ice axe near the top of Piker's Peak to self arrest. The last steep section to that false summit was very tough, so you need positive mental stamina to complete that, or an encouraging partner. After the Piker's Peak (false summit), it's an easy ridge walk and then 20 minutes of switchbacks to the summit.
Reaching that summit is worth every bit of the tough climb up. I summited around 1:30 and would have easily finished the climb by 5, but got lost on the way down since I wasn't paying attention (oops) so didn't get to my car until 9pm.
By far the biggest obstacle was making it from Lunch Counter to Piker's Peak. It isn't far, but it's tough, and you'll need a good pace and some rest stops. To give you an idea, I approached the steep slope of Piker's climb at 10:30am but didn't get to Piker's Peak until 1pm...and it's only 1/4 mile.
Be up for the challenge and be up for a very rewarding experience.

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