One of my favorite places on Earth is up on the South Eastern Alpine slopes of Mount Adams in Bird Creek Meadows. Part of Tract D, this area was part of the original Mount Adams WIlderness that was returned to the Yakama Nation in 1972 as per original Treaty of 1855. More information on that story can be found here on the website for the
Yakama Nation Mt. Adams Recreation Area
Also you can find DIRECTIONS to Bird Creek Meadows below in the comments.
Recently I made the hike up the Climber’s Trail from the parking lot for Bird Creek Meadows, about a mile past Mirror Lake. This is a steep rocky trail, about a Mile up to Hellroaring Viewpoint where it becomes a crossroad where you can continue upwards on the Sunrise Trail to a high altitude camp on the East side of Mount Adams, on Yakama lands (which does require a back country camping permit from the pay station at the parking lot) . Here are a few scenes from Climber’s Trail:
midday light through the forest can be inspiring and uplifting.
Coming through the woods I startled a Blue Grouse
Along the way in late summer are many brilliant blue Mountain Bog Gentian wildflowers, mingled among mountain Huckleberries, Corn Lilies, and other plants that turn red, orange and yellow. Hoverflies and Bees and Butterflies flit about in the meadows.
Rock formations along the way can be fascinating
Climbing further up out of the forest, the trail winds along the ridge to the southwest of Hellroaring Meadows and Bench Lake and opens up to increased views of the surrounding land, and many fascinating tree skeletons that get ever more fanciful as a person hikes up the sunrise trail to treeline.
Mount Adams begins to show her face as the trees become sparse in this higher altitude.
while looking to the Northeast you can see the red rock Little Mount Adams
in the distance you can see Bench Lake down below Little Mount Adams.
Looking far below you can see Bench Lake shining like a jewel among trees that looks sadly damaged from the infestation of Pine Bark Beetle or Spruce Bud Worm. Bench Lake has a 41 site campground and is favored among fishermen and boaters, with a 3 mile loop trail down into Hellroaring Creek from the Lake.
This is a view on another day from Bench Lake towards Mount Adams
While from the Trail Mount Adams peeks through the trees
And a DIstant view of Hellroaring Falls pouring down off the Mazama Glacier and a little hidden Tarn (lake)
Soon the trail winds out into the open on a ledge overlooking Mount Adams, the Sunrise Trail, Hellroaring Falls and Meadows, Glaciers, and sometimes herds of Mountain Goats.
While I was hiking I could hear loud echoing SNAP and rumble of an avalanche or slide , or perhaps a crevasse opening up. I can see several new cracks and such from this hot weather.
This Rock formation is called the Castle
At this Viewpoint you can also choose to take the trail 0.8 miles down through the meadows to connect with the top of a loop trail through Bird Creek Meadows. This Loop is just over a mile in total length, connecting on the bottom end with the #9 Round the Mountain Trail. Take a left turn to travel back to the Parking Lot.
Here are some scenes along that upper Meadows trail and the Viewpoint Trail
Not long below this stream, you run into the #9 trail, and it is about 3/4 -1 mile back to the Parking Lot and downhill all the way. If you want a longer hike, there are several more possibilities, that include Crooked Creek Falls on the 100 trail, or more waterfalls and a lake on Bluff Lake Trail, both of which end at Bird Lake and can be done as another loop.
I hope you enjoyed my presentation, and please take time to check out my links in the sidebar for my books and such… I am working on 2014 Calendars and will be doing some presales on those, so email me at email@example.com if you are interested in knowing more. When they are finished, I will post an album showing the pages of the calendars.
I also recently came out with the 3rd edition of my Trout Lake and Beyond Book, 12 x 12 with 4 new pages of this years Aurora photos and others. They would make wonderful Christmas Presents!
4 thoughts on “Views along the Climber’s Trail on Mount Adams”
During one of my visits to my sister and her husband in Yakima, I was tooleying around trying to figure out how to get closer to Mt. Adams and do some hiking and photographing. I never could figure out how to do that (I’m not even sure I had a map). After reading this blog post with all of your wonderful pictures (I LOVE those flower photos), I now know of some trails and can use Googlemaps to figure out a route to get there. Thanks for the information and the beautiful post!
Rebecca you are welcome, and please if you do get up this way let me know! I would love to go up there with you if possible, or at least meet up with you along the way.
To GET HERE: Basically, you start with getting to Trout Lake, Washington, which has some wonderful treats available such as Huckleberry Smoothies OR Milkshakes, as well as a wonderful rustic grocery store (Trout Lake Grocery). To get to Bird Creek Meadows, take the right fork at the gas station as you get into the tiny town. Stay to the right on the next two main turns, and Mount Adams Highway turns into the 82 road and turns to gravel a few miles from town. which changes name again as it crosses onto Yakama Nation lands and becomes Bird Creek Road. However, there really are not many signs indicating all that! There are however a couple signs along the way for Bird Creek Meadows. When you get to a big bulletin board at the bottom of the hill go left up the hill. the last 5 miles are small bumpy dirt road, with occasional nasty rocky areas that people have lost oil pans on before, so go slow and careful and most any car can make it up there. When you get to Mirror Lake, there is a pay station for entry fees, which are $5.00 a vehicle and good for 5 days. Camping fees are another $10.00 and include 12 pieces of firewood. There is also a fishing permit available…. you do not need Washington state fishing licence here. A Yakama Ranger, my dear friend Richard Canapo, has a trailer here at Mirror Lake and is a good person to ask for directions and hike suggestions. He has free maps available from the Tribes, clearly showing the Meadows trails and their mileage.
Wow, Darlisa, that looks like a great hike! Loved all the misshaped trees and the Gentian with the bee! New watermark on your photos too!
Cynthia thanks for taking the time to look and read! it really is a great hike, and different each week of the short growing season. Typically you cannot get up here until possibly mid or late July, some rare years by July 4, and the gates are locked again perhaps mid October, sometimes by the end of September if snows fall.
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