Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

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VanMarmot
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Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by VanMarmot » August 30th, 2011, 4:56 pm

I had hoped to get out of town for a few days, but events conspired to allow me a staycation instead. So I decided to work on those hikes on my “to do” list that involve 2 or more hours driving from Portland. Last Monday’s hike was Stagman Ridge on the SW side of Adams. It’s the last hike in Bond’s Take a Hike Portland, but I haven’t seen it in many other guidebooks. Driving out from Portland, I went through a patch of drizzle, but the skies were clear at the TH. From there, I followed the Stagman Ridge trail (#12) almost directly along the ridge toward Adams. This – and all the trails I followed this day – were in OK to good shape and some even showed signs of recent maintenance (i.e., removal of blowdowns). At 5200’, I came to the first meadow and my first wide-screen view of Adams. Wow!

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Just beyond the meadow, the #12 trail makes a sharp turn to the left, and there’s a little sign to the right.

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Somewhat ominous and not particularly accurate, since it marks the start of a good use trail over to Lookingglass Lake and not to any (readily evident) resting place of the departed. This use trail contours E at around 5400’, crossing several small streams,

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then crosses a large stream (2 logs were in place to make a bridge),

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before taking you to a side trail down to Lookingglass Lake. There are good campsites on either side of the lake and it would make a first-rate destination for an overnight backpack.

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And, yes, there are fish in the lake.

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An official trail (#9A) continues E from above the lake, eventually connecting with the round the mountain trail (#9). From above the lake, I got a view of St. Helens, sitting in a soup of clouds pushing in from the NW.

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The RTM trail took me around a ridge with a good view of that roiling cloud layer trying to force its way into the interior.

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That was followed shortly by Horseshoe Meadow and another grand view of Adams.

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Just past the meadow, I followed a short section of the PCT (2000) back to the Stagman Ridge trail and hence to the TH. There is a short, steep, loose, dusty section of trail #12 between the PCT junction and the “Graveyard Camp” sign that I avoided having to climb up by doing a counter-clockwise loop. All told, a short loop (11.4 mi, 2400’ (including detour to the lake)) but a great way to see the W side of Adams up close.

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Crusak
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by Crusak » August 30th, 2011, 5:18 pm

Nice! Another VanMarmot blue-sky day hike. :) Did you see any other hikers out that day? I've always suspected that the area immediately around Mt Adams get less use than other locations. Do you think that's true?

Your pictures were great, especially the last one - wow is right!
Jim's Hikes

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VanMarmot
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by VanMarmot » August 30th, 2011, 5:41 pm

Crusak wrote:Nice! Another VanMarmot blue-sky day hike. :) Did you see any other hikers out that day? I've always suspected that the area immediately around Mt Adams get less use than other locations. Do you think that's true?

Your pictures were great, especially the last one - wow is right!
All the blue sky is about 50 mi E of Portland. I saw 2 dayhikers and 2 backpackers the whole day. Lots of campsites but no campers. I'd say you're right - most folks (and I was once one of them) seem more interested in climbing Adams than hiking its lower slopes. They're missing some great scenery!

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drm
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by drm » August 30th, 2011, 8:20 pm

You didn't mention snow or bugs, so I guess there wasn't too much of either.

As to the number of people, maybe you can see why many of us go there instead of more popular places. The west side of Adams seems to be particularly neglected. The climbers go to the southern side, and hikers seem to prefer the north.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by VanMarmot » August 31st, 2011, 6:12 am

drm wrote:You didn't mention snow or bugs, so I guess there wasn't too much of either.

As to the number of people, maybe you can see why many of us go there instead of more popular places. The west side of Adams seems to be particularly neglected. The climbers go to the southern side, and hikers seem to prefer the north.
No snow and few bugs. The worst mosquitos were where the #12 trail crosses a creek just above 5000'. There weren't any to speak of higher up or at the lake. I've climbed Adams via the North Ridge - we were the only people camping on the N side and on the ridge but we met 75+ people on the summit! Two different mountains people-wise.

USMC-Climber
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by USMC-Climber » August 31st, 2011, 8:05 am

Thank you for this great information. I'm taking a friend from France backpacking tomorrow for two nights and that is exactly where I was planning on going. Glad to hear the bugs aren't terrible!

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drm
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by drm » September 1st, 2011, 6:25 am

The north side doesn't get many climbers, but I think that Killen Creek Meadows area (and Killen Ck TH) is the most popular spot for hikers on Mt. Adams. I've never seen any of the three westside trailheads have nearly as many cars or people, even the PCT (except for elk hunting season in Nov).

But the west side definitely has the best lakes for camping. Lookingglass is the main one, but 5387 and Crystal are even better, though both are a bit off the official trails.

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retired jerry
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by retired jerry » September 1st, 2011, 6:33 am

I hiked up from the PCT a couple years ago. A few people parked at trailhead right at road 23. You can hike up the PCT to the Stagman trail junction. Several people camped at Lookingglass Lake. There were campsites along trail 9A up to the round-the-mountain trail. There's a stream along trail 9A.

That is a great area to go to.

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bunbunaz
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by bunbunaz » September 1st, 2011, 1:37 pm

Is there a good map to the trailhead? Or perhaps the GPS coordinates? Looks like a great hike but I haven't been able to find good directions to the trailhead.

The forest service site has these great directions: Forest Road 23, 8031, 8031-120. I can find 23 and 8031 but never 8031-120. I even checked my road atlas which is usally better than Google and Bing maps but no to no avail....

Nothing in the field guide either....

One web site had the following, but I couldn't find spur road #120 on any map. The directions sound pretty good but I'd prefer to be able to find it on a map before heading out.

1) From the intersection of ALT-141 and Mount Adams Recreational Highway (i.e. gas station at the intersection), head north along the Mount Adams Recreational Highway.
2) After 1.3 miles, a "Y" intersection is encountered. Veer left onto Forest Service Road #23 (paved).
3) After 7.5 miles along FS-23, turn right onto Forest Service Road #8031 (unpaved).
4) After 0.3 miles, a "Y" intersection is encountered. Veer left to continue along FS-8031.
5) After 3.1 miles further, take a sharp right turn onto Spur Road #120.
6) Follow Spur Road #120 for 0.7 miles, until its end. Stagman Ridge Trail #12 begins at the parking area at the end of the road.

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retired jerry
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Re: Stagman Ridge (Mt Adams) 29-Aug-2011

Post by retired jerry » September 1st, 2011, 2:23 pm

from Spring Manning book (1992):

4) after 0.4 miles from road 23 turn left on (8031)070, beware of axle busting water bars
5) at 3.1 miles from 23 go right on (8031070)120
6) at 3.9 miles from rd 23 is the trailhead

the "axle busting" scared me off so I went to the trailhead for PCT right on rd 23 and walked up PCT which is about the same distance, views, etc.

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