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Mount Adams South Climb Trail is a 11.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Trout Lake, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 11.2 mi Elevation gain 6,732 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Backpacking Hiking Skiing Snowshoeing Views Wild flowers Rocky Snow No shade
Description
Waypoints (7)
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Getting There

Climb one of the Cascade giants in Washington State for a fantastic ski or board down over 6,000 vertical feet. Mt. Adams is one of the favorite volcanoes in the Cascade Range for those want to summit one of the bigger mountains of in Washington and ski down from the top. Due to its moderately sloped south face, it offers an outstanding ski run from the summit at 12,276 ft to the snow's end at 6-7,000 ft depending on the timing of the tour. One caution: this is a real mountain. Despite its low terrain hazard risks of the south approach, there have been a number of injured and lost climbers on this route. The weather can turn quickly as on any major peak and climbers must be prepared to stay out overnight in some form of protection. Many skiers with a good deal of endurance will do this climb in a single long day, but often travel very light and consequently are gambling on good weather. This hike is suggested as a two day climb - to allow for more skiing and also to provide a cushion should the weather or snow conditions turn sour. The snow varies from frozen crust to perfect summer corn depending on your timing and fortune. This is a challenging climb via Cold Springs and South Spur up a 12,000 foot volcano in southern Washington. You'll climb close to 7,000 feet for this ski descent. When you get up to the base of the glacier it will look like a highway of climbers in spring and summer months. Hope for good snow as the descent is fantastic. Beware - there is a false summit so be prepared to be disappointed as you crest what you think is the top, only to have to hike another half mile or so. When you ski down get some speed from the true top and you might be able to make it partly up the false summit. Dogs are allowed on this trail but probably wont be able to summit, so keep in mind your dogs hiking ability before choosing to being them.

A federal Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Mount Adams Ranger District 2455 Highway 141 Trout Lake, WA 98650 Tel: 509.395.3400

You need obtain a climbing permit from the Trout Lake Ranger Station for $15.00 to park at Cold Springs and to climb.

Take highway 141 north from White Salmon through Hood River approx. 22 miles to Trout Lake. From 1 mile north of the town go 1 mile on forest service road 23, then onto FS 80 on the right. Stay on 80, then onto 8040 following signs for Cold Springs Campground. The trail is on the north side of the campground. You need obtain a climbing permit from the Trout Lake Ranger Station for $15.00 to park at Cold Springs and to climb.

Weather
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Reviews (519)
Photos (471)
Recordings (436)
Completed (973)
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Chad Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Ana Pyz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2020
Hiking
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Jana Dong Lovelady
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

Hiked 8/15. Hiked in one day with friend, niece (15), nephew (13) and bro-in-law. 13hr RT. One of the most gorgeous, beautiful, perfect weather days you could go. Enough snow to glissade the really steep part- aka no knee damage ;) everyone was so friendly. Hiked in shorts and a tee. Windbreaker at the top. Hat, sunglasses, crampons (you could use microspikes though as well, ice axe. 4 L of water.

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Mark Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

Accidentally saved the first part of hike

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Josh Rybak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

Summited on 10/3. Single day hike - started at 4:30am, reached the summit by 11:30am and was back to the car at 7:00pm. Beautiful weather and an amazing trail from start to finish. It took us so long we were lucky enough to see the sunrise and sunset! Took 3.5 liters of water and had to stop and filter 1 additional liter on the way down. Plenty of water options up there. Had both crampons and microspikes in our group, but would highly recommend crampons and an axe. Took the rocks on the left the majority of the way from Lunch Counter to False Summit and it kicked our butts. Steep and wobbly rocks the entire time. After false summit it’s pretty quick and easy. Glisaded on the way down but some spots were pretty sketchy. Will definitely go again in the future but will be going when there is a lot more snow up there. Rocks beat our feet and legs up pretty good!

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Andrew Elston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 2, 2020
Backpacking
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Emily Favret
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Summited on Monday Sept 28. Stayed overnight at Lunch Counter, relatively mild conditions on the way up, light snow around lunch but we easily found a dry spot in one of the wind shelters. Relatively calm night, woke up and departed for summit around 7am. We timed it essentially perfectly, we hit the end of the frozen temperatures on the way up to the false summit but easily had enough footholds in the deep snow to get up without any issue. Did it in trail shoes (runners) and yak tracks, probably should have had micro spikes or crampons for more confident grip, but made it up! Zero wind the whole way up to the summit, crystal clear views at the top (could see the Sisters and all the way up to Baker and the Olympics). Glacaded almost entire way back to Lunch before a easy hike down to trailhead.

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Bella Blue Evans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Well maintained

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Mohamed Kabli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2020

summited on 9/12; a full day hike; so much scree at this time of the year.. nothing to see due to the wildfires' smoke. if I do it again it would have to be in July like many other people said today.

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Patrick Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Dayhike. 7:30-5:00. Very rocky. Seems reasonable to avoid the snow by staying to the left both up to lunch counter and also up to the false summit. Microspikes are helpful with the gravel/scree.

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Bryan Lorman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020

Summited this past Sunday 9/6 car to car. I recommend starting earlier than you’d think, we started at midnight to avoid sun exposure on the way down as it was very hot. A lot more scree at this time of year than snow but microspikes should be brought at a minimum, crampons if you have them. Didn’t record but we definitely felt like it was more than 11.2 miles. Well worth the work put in for those views. Don’t let your guard down after Piker’s Peak, the final push to summit has some strong gain too. Next time I come back will definitely be earlier in the season for more snow and traction.

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Jacob Stanfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking
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Nathan Delorenzo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

My phone died just after I reached the summit so I couldn't record the whole trip. We ended up with a distance of 14 miles not 11.2 and a little over 6700 foot elevation gain in 12 hours and 40 minutes that's with a little over 2 hours of break time. Crampons aren't needed at this time of year, but will definitely make the descent easier. You can also use micro spikes, but they're not great when descending.

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Doug K.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

Better have some clam chowder for when you get down

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Chris Pike
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingScramble

You don’t need crampons or poles, but you’re making it unnecessarily difficult if you don’t have them.

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Nicole Munoz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2020
HikingIcyOff trailRockyScrambleSnow

Completed a 1 day summit last Friday (8/28). Left parking lot @ 11:45pm and summited @ 8:30am. Made it back down by 1:30pm. Used ice ax, crampons and helmet. One member used micro spikes & felt comfortable. My friends who have summited previously stated that it’s much easier when there is more snow. There was just enough to glissade down a way. It required quite a bit of scramble & poles were very useful. The false summit will surely get ya. Plenty of water to filter. Super windy @ top & used my puffy. It was a blast but not sure I’ll ever do it again!!

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Brady Whetten
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking
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Chris Tess
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
HikingIcy

We started out 9/1 headed up to lunch counter for a overnight stay. Started out easy but the day was hot 89. The trail was easy to follow until you had to hit the snow for the rest of the way up. First time up to 9000 feet elevation. Left lunch counter for summit at 530 am. Up the snow to scree to the left. Couple ahead of us knocked a few boulders I had to avoid. One came close to hitting me. Up the scree to false summit was hard. Rested for 20 minutes before crossing the glacier for my summit try. The scree was hard going up and it was hot windy for much of my summit. Made it to the summit in 5 hours. The wind was blowing about 50 miles an hour it made staying up there very cold. The way down was very hard to lots of loose rock. Made it down to lunch counter in 3 hours. Packed up filter more water headed down in 3 hours. Best hike I’ve ever done with my son. Bring lots of water for the hike up and use lots of sunscreen.

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Tess Lenk
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking

Horrid. Scree, scree, so much scree.

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Eric T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Where to begin... first this hike is harder than the numbers make it seem. I summited on 9/1 in a single climb from cold spring camp with excellent weather for it. the first couple miles are comparatively easy going with a defined tread, but it is very sandy so you don't have much traction to push off of and it consequently makes it tiring because you are having to lift your legs without much push off for the following step. then you begin to climb higher on loose scree and sand. at this point there are cairns marking your way forward but eventually you hit a point where the cairns disappear and you are following the path of least resistance up the mountain. the hike from where the cairns end to lunch counter isn't too rough and route finding isn't hard but did slow me down a bit. much of the snow route is melted out and so a majority of folks were climbing the scree fields. consequently there isn't a defined visible path and you just have to follow the gps and easiest path forward. the hardest part of this climb is from lunch counter to the false summit. you have to cross a snow field and going up I traversed the field higher than I did coming down. once you get past the snow field on way up to false summit you are scrambling. loose gravel and rock make it treacherous and you could easily loose your footing and fall down. ultimately I think at this point in the season going up via the south spur will necessitate navigating these loose scree fields of rotten rock and make it difficult. going up the snow fields wouldn't have made sense in my mind. however coming down there are still accessible glissade chutes which make the descent easier to navigate than the ascent. once.you reach false summit you drop into the bowl and cross and easy snowfield to make the final push to the summit of about 600 ft. it is somewhat steep but easy enough..the challenge here was in the exhaustion and altitude. but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other you will make it to the top. beautiful views for miles and miles. took me 6 hours to the top from cold springs and 5 hours back down. bring sunscreen as the sun is unrelenting. plenty of water near lunch counter.

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Emily Gardner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2020
BackpackingNo shadeRocky

Hiked up to lunch counter beginning of September. There was hardly any snow to glissade or to navigate up. We ended up finding our own trail up thru all the rocks. Water was hardly flowing at lunch counter. So definitely recommend filling up slightly before that point when you see it. Trail is completely exposed the entire time. So be prepared with sunscreen and lots of water. Stunning views

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Wendy Wanhe Zhao
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Backpacking

WTA trail report: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report-2020-09-01-5836111031 LOST: My black leather tri-fold pocket that contained memory cards and L shape hex key was lost around lunch counter or the water source behind the ridge of lunch counter. And my friend lost one of her pink microspikes after false summit. If anyone happen to find any of these stuffs, would be great if you could shoot me an email. wanhezhao1116@gmail.com. Much appreciated!!

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Noah Bagley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
HikingGreat!

Had a great day on the mountain 8/30, started from the trailhead at 3 am, saw the sunrise at the lunch counter, and got to the top by 11:30, got back to our car around 6:30 pm after some fun glissading and boot skiing. We found an Ice Ax laying in the dirt in the parking lot with no cars near it, message me with details about which kind it is and it's color if you left one there on August 30th. (nebagley@comcast.net)

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Kent Quickstad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
HikingGreat!IcyRockyScrambleSnow

Started at the trailhead on Aug. 30th at 4:30am, summited by noon, and back to the car by 3:30pm. Glissaded a lot of the snow above Lunch Counter and "rock skied" down the scree slope to make pretty good time coming down. LOST: Melanzama Green/Blue Hoodie, if found, please email at kent.quickstad@gmail.com It was a gift and I'd be eternally grateful if someone picked it up. I'll venmo you cash if you happened to pick it up. Thanks

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