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Foggy Flat Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mount Adams from Foggy Flat (Jerry Adams)
You can see Mount Rainier from Foggy Flat (Jerry Adams)
You can see the Goat Rocks from Foggy Flat (Jerry Adams)
The first couple miles are a slog on a dusty trail. (Jerry Adams)
  • Start point: Killen Creek Trailhead
  • Ending Point: Foggy Flat
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Distance: 22.2 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1550 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: Yes


Hike Description

Foggy Flat is an alpine area on the north side of Mount Adams. This is further from the trailhead and less popular than some other areas. There are some really nice dayhike areas above here.

This hike starts at the Killen Creek Trailhead (4650'). The Killen Creek Trail goes up and down from here. We want to go up. The trail down goes to a horse campground.

The first 3 miles are easy, wide, dusty in the summer, busy on weekends, and frequented by horses. At mile 2 is a nice campsite, with views of Mount Adams, and a drinking water stream that may dry up by September. At mile 3 is the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). We want to go left on the PCT. Straight (up) on the Killen Creek Trail is the Adams Glacier Meadows Hike. The PCT right goes round the mountain and eventually connects to the Horseshoe Meadows-Lookingglass Lake Loop Hike.

Continuing left on the PCT, at mile 4.3 (5900'), is the junction with the Highline Trail (#114). There is a nice drinking water stream (Killen Creek) with a nice waterfall just before the junction. To the northwest of the junction are a dozen nice campsite possibilities. The PCT goes straight.

We want to go right on the Highline Trail. The trail goes up to 6100' at about mile 4.6, and then down to 5850' at mile 6.5 where is the junction with the Muddy Meadows Trail (#13) which is a good horse route to Keenes Horse Camp.

Continue on the Highline Trail (right, east) to Foggy Flat at mile 7.2 (5950'). There is a good drinking water stream here. There is one campsite to the left of the trail. There is another campsite to the right just above the stream. There is a camping spot west of the meadow area. There is a nice campsite in another 0.5 miles at 6200'.

There is a high point about 100' above and to the west of the point where the main trail reaches Foggy Flat, with a crude trail leading up it and some better views of points north including Mount Rainier. There is also a crude path going up the west side of the meadow. There are some campsite possibilities and (according to some guide) you could eventually make your way over to Adams Glacier Meadows.

For a good day hike above Foggy Flat, continue on the Highline Trail. At about mile 8 (6400') and mile 9 (6800') are two difficult stream crossings over the Muddy Fork which comes off the Lava Glacier. These are difficult to cross early in the season, after heavy rains, and are more difficult later in the day when there's more glacier melt.

Continuing on the Highline Trail, the high point is at mile 11.3 (7750'). Obviously, there are great views of Mount Adams and Mount Rainier from here. Mount Saint Helens is not visible behind a ridge. You can easily go cross country up from here through Devil's Garden about 1.5 miles up to 8400'.

Continuing on the Highline trail, the trail loses elevation and eventually goes down off the mountain into the Indian reservation where you are not supposed to go.

If you want to continue around the mountain, you go 2 miles on the trail from Devil's Garden, then 4.5 miles over "the Gap" which is trail-less and requires several large stream crossings. This is beyond what most people are willing to do. Some reports say that you have to cross two streams that are so big you have to carry your pack over your head. Other reports say it's easier to cross higher on the mountain at the lower end of glaciers.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • NW Forest Pass may be required.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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