Mt Adams highlights

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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Mt Adams highlights

Post by ViewfinderPCT » July 30th, 2019, 10:18 am

I'm planning a trip for August 9/10-13, thinking I'm going to explore the north side of Mt Adams. Foggy Flat and Devil's Garden have been on my bucket list for awhile, and heading to Avalanche Valley sounds worthwhile. What's the deal with going onto Yakama land? I'd also like to hit High Camp, I think. Any recommendations on other places I shouldn't miss or best camp spots? Bonus if they have trees I could hammock from. Any cross country explorations you recommend? Anyone been up there recently and have info about how high the creeks are running? I'm looking to hike anywhere from 8-12 miles a day, for about 3.5 days. Thinking of spending Friday night at Takhlakh Lake and getting started Saturday morning, probably from Killen Creek to avoid the Adams Creek crossing. I know there are some walk in sites at Takhlakh, did they tend to fill up? Is there backcountry camping nearby if they are full? TIA for any feedback!

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Re: Mt Adams highlights

Post by teachpdx » July 30th, 2019, 1:10 pm

It seems like getting onto the Yakama land is pretty tricky, especially this year. I believe the Mt. Adams Recreation Area (administered by the Yakama Nation) is still closed to public entry this summer following the fires back in 2015. Additionally, the actual trail between Devil's Garden and Avalanche Valley strays outside of the recreation area and into closed lands for about a mile. Even with proper permits, this area is technically always off-limits to non-Tribal members.

Your best bet may be to set up camp for two nights near Foggy Flat, with a day hike up to the Devil's Garden area, then back to High Camp for night 3. I've heard something about an off-trail/alpine route from Foggy Flat to High Camp, but I haven't done it. Hopefully somebody else can chime in on that.

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retired jerry
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Re: Mt Adams highlights

Post by retired jerry » July 30th, 2019, 2:30 pm

I've been to Devil's Garden boundary with Yakama area

I'd walk a few miles into the Yakama area if I felt like it. It's not like they have people there turning people back.

I think they more object to the lower elevation areas. And the burned areas on the other side that are closed.

I too have heard about cross country from Devil's Garden to above High Camp. And keep going to below Adams Glacier. There's an unmarked trail down from there to PCT. I've been there, really nice.

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Re: Mt Adams highlights

Post by drm » July 30th, 2019, 2:39 pm

All Yakama lands have been closed to all visitation the last couple of years, but before that you could hike to Avalanche Valley on the extension of the Highline Trail for 2 miles legally and without a permit, and hopefully that will be the case again soon. Only the route around the east side from Devils Garden to Avalanche Valley, on to Sunrise Camp and then back to regular trails at the Hellroaring Lookout was open without a permit (and once upon a time permits were required). You were not allowed lower and would never get such a permit if you had asked. From what I have been told, the most sacred parts of the mountain to the Yakama are not the summit and the glaciers, but the forest lower down.

Few of the areas above the PCT/Highline have a lot of trees. There are none that are hammock-able at High Camp or Devils Garden. Note that the second creek crossing to Devils Garden is usually tougher than Adams Creek. Be prepared to wade.

There is a large glacial lake above High Camp and it has plenty of flattened camping spots because it is the basecamp for climbing the north side of Mt Adams, the North Cleaver Route. There also is a small glacial lake above Foggy Flats if you can find it. There also is lots of exploring you can do above the main camping areas around Killen Creek. But I have never tried to connect these areas by traversing up high, though I know some of that has been done.

I'm not aware of walk-in camping at the Takhlakh Lake campground, but if you continue past the lake towards the various trailheads, there are many dispersed car camping sites next to the road. They all fill up on weekends so availability depends on when you get there, if arriving Friday eve it could be tough. The mileages to explore the north side of Adams are not that great. You can look up my Mt Adams North trip report from late July on the Trip Reports forum on this site. I backpacked about 6 miles each day and then did great dayhikes those afternoons.

I would add that if you like off-trail alpine wandering, the west side of Adams is great too. The area from Crystal Lake south past The Bumper and down to Horseshoe Meadow is fairly easy going and unlike the North side, you won't see a soul as long as you're above the PCT (except at Crystal Lake of course). Not that the north side is crowded by any means.

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