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
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!