Explore the most popular forest trails near Trout Lake with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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

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.

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!

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 took as a challenge, and she said “NOAA is the only one you can trust for mountain climbing. Also you can’t seem anything with the fires anyway.” SASSY. NOAA confirmed a heat advisory. We took the 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.

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.

backpacking
26 days 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

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful view of Mt Adams and St Helens early on. Lots of lakes and meadows. Decent wildflowers. LOTS of mosquitos the whole trail even with 98% deet. Seriously bad mosquitos.

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!

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

Tried to hike this weekend. Roads are still snow covered over 4 miles away from trailhead.

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.

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.

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.

hiking
11 months ago

Not spectacular, just really... pleasant (in the best sense of the word). Steep climb at the beginning, but very nice on the Indian Heaven "plateau". Very park-like, pretty lakes, some peekaboo mountain views (Mt Adams is the major one, with Goat Rocks & Mt Rainier in the distance), tons of huckleberries, lots of places to camp. The Cultus Creek section of trail is especially steep (even on the way down) and narrow, but is kinda neat because you get glimpses of how high up you really are.

Buggy as expected, but no mosquitos (as of 8/19). Roads are partly paved and gravel/dirt (very dusty) but in good condition. Even with a lot of parking spots in the campground, none open when I first got there on a Saturday. Popular!

Pretty scenery, especially the lakes. Do the Lemei hike as well, amazing views from that location.

Epic swim in the lake. Great views. No bugs. Perfect day on the trail.

Loved it! Summited on 8/20/17 and while it was really difficult, it was also wonderful. Ice axe and crampons are necessary (also, know how to self arrest in case of a slip and fall. There are plenty of places around 8,200 ft that give you a chance to practice if needed.) It's a tough climb if you're only in decent to good shape, but still totally worth it.

11 months ago

Did a 2 day summit starting on 8/19. Amazing sunset views against Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. Crystal clear views of the milky way and the meteor shower as well. Crampons and ice axe very highly recommended. Glisading was getting pretty spotty. Made it up to the trail head in my miata with coilovers but it wasn't very fun :p. Overall a great first time summit.

hiking
Friday, August 11, 2017

I started the hike at 3AM and it took me about 3 Hours to get to the lunch counter. There were a good amount of people camping and there's definitely a good amount of snow left. I was up with microspikes but didn't summit. I would suggest using crampons to summit, also after 9ish the snow started to become slush so be careful.

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

I did not get to Lake Wapiki because the trail eventually was covered in packed and mushy snow. Yes, snow mid-July! The first 0.7 miles is quite the workout but settles after that. The mosquitos are pretty voracious around Deep Lake and Cultus Lake. I'm so glad I had bug spray but that wasn't blood sucking bug proof enough. The Indian Heaven backcountry is amazingly beautiful and this hike easily has become one of my top 5.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Awesome view of Mt Adams. I think it is about two miles up! We couldn't get to the lake because of snow. Mosquitos are horrible! Trail 33

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Loved all of the mountain lakes and wildflowers in late July!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gorgeous trail. 7.5 miles long. Very quiet, haven't seen anybody all day. Numerous lakes around. Great workout! Hiked on October 25th 2016. Bring layers it was around 40-45 degrees, cold!

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

I did this hike on September 10th. The drive up to the trailhead was sketchy but not horrible. I made it up in a Honda Civic. The weather was perfect and there wasn't too many people on the trail. The hike up to Lunch Counter took about 4 hours and wasn't too difficult. It was actually easier and more pleasant than I thought it would be.

We camped up at LC and watched the sunset, which was breathtaking. It got very cold and windy at night but the whiskey helped warm us up. I have never seen so many stars in my life. It was so surreal. I definitely want to go back and camp again- I highly recommend it!

We left our tent and some of our stuff and headed up for the summit the next morning. From there on, we were hiking on snow with our crampons. It was long and grueling. I forgot to pack my sunblock which was a huge mistake. I ended up with bad sunburn on my face. While hiking up the steep snowfields, there was a lot of steam coming out of the mountain. So much, that it blocked the sun a few times. It was such an amazing thing to see.

Once we got to the false summit, I saw how much further up we had to go, and I actually wanted to turn back. Luckily, my friend convinced me to keep going. It actually looks a lot worse than it really is. That last hill didn't take long at all and I made it to the summit. The view from the summit was pretty cool, but I've seen better ;) Actually it didn't all sink in until the next day, and it get like such a great accomplishment.

When we made our descent down the snowfields, we used the glissade chutes, which were SUPER icy. I lost my ice axe and had to use my trekking poles. It was super scary, but we saved so much time coming down. We broke down the tent and made our way back down.

I think all together it took us 14 or 15 hours. I highly recommend this climb. It was the most memorable mountain adventure I've ever had!

backpacking
Thursday, October 06, 2016

The most beautiful place in the fall

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bucket list item... check. Summited with dear friend on a Tuesday.

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