Summary: This is a serious climb. You should only go with someone who's done it before. It's close to 7000ft over 5.8 miles. There is a trail from Cold Springs campground up to the first glacier, and from there you have to know your way.There's snow year round. Many climbers camp overnight at elevation (6-9000 feet) and summit the following day. We did this in one day, starting out at 6:15. Depending on the time of year, you can get into serious weather. You need to be physically prepared, and you need a good day pack with lots of water, energy bars, layers of clothing and emergency supplies. It gets cold at the top - 12,285'.You should know the symptoms of altitude sickness. You have to be ready to slide (glissade) down, or the walk will be very strenuous. All that said, when you summit you will be at one of the highest points in the Northwest, and there aren't too many experiences you'll go through in life that are more rewarding. Be SAFE! Go with an experienced person.
Trailhead: Take highway 141 north from White Salmon, just accross the Columbia through Hood River approx. 22 miles Trout Lake. Go north of town 1 mile on forest service road 23, then onto FS 80 on the right approx. 1 mi. out of town. Folow signs to the South Climb. Stay on 80, then onto 8040 and go to the Cold Springs Camnpground. Take the trai lon the north edge of the campgroud. You can camp at Cold Springs or along the trail up to 9000 feet in climbers bivouacs if you're goning to do this climb in two days. You MUST obtain a climbing permit from the Trout Lake Ranger Station for $15.00 to park at Cold Springs and to climb. (Lat:46.13555 Lon:-121.4941)
Trail Guides for Mt. Adams South Approach, near Trout Lake, WA:
Best Seasons: Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Mount Adams Ranger District, Trout Lake Ranger Station 509-395-3400
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Steve Snyder, who has posted 13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by TA on 5/5/2012
Have done this trip three times on skis in June with kids as young as fifteen and adults as old as 60, and a very doable and wonderful experience each time. One trip in particular had us making the only tracks during a light snowfall through a huge bowl covered with an inch of fresh powder with little trees here and there. I felt as though I was in a fantasy or dream film about skiing, not real skiing. That feeling has never dispelled. A boy who was on one of the trips has a picture of himself squatting next to his board wearing his skyblue sunglasses as his Facebook picture even now, several years after that trip.
Reviewed by Dale on 9/1/2011
I've climbed this route numerous times and it's most enjoyable when camping at Lunch Counter in nice weather. I've done it in white out conditions and a GPS is the saver. Last weekend I did it on a beautiful day and left the parking lot at 2:50 am alone with a headlamp. 10.5 hours round trip from parking lot to summit to parking lot. Not recommended alone as I found fresh Cougar droppings on the trail at about 3:30 am in the forest. I love this hike and do it at least once a year. Three times this summer. ENJOY! Views are fantastic.
Reviewed by Connie on 7/31/2009
My husband and I did this hike 2 years ago. I was 54 and in pretty good shape. It was hard, but the views of Mt. St. Helens and Mt Hood were incredible. We camped at lunch counter and did not summit. Glisading was great! We brought the proper gear. We rented out crampons and ice axes. We also had hiking poles. It got very cold at night. If they just had a hot tub at the top!
Reviewed by Adrienne on 8/25/2008
Incredible views for most of the hike. Difficult, slow going, need to start early. Getting lost IS easy on the way down, but advice about getting to the 'round the mountain' trail is sound. On a nice weekend day you will be hiking with 30 others. Do NOT go without crampons and an ice axe. Poles are very handy as well. Did I mention the views are phenomenal?
Reviewed by AS on 8/8/2008
This is an extreemly hard day hike, requiring a true alpine start (3 a.m.) and a high level of fitness. Weather changes rapidly over Lunch Counter. The route is tricky on the way down. If you get lost, do what I did as a last resort... walk downhill until you hit the Round the Mountain Trail. The stretch to the false summit is the hardest part.
Reviewed by rebecca on 5/22/2008
it was asome
Reviewed by SLAYER on 9/13/2007
I just climbed the south climb over the last 3 days,fell into a crevass, slept just below pikers peak (with a tarp and an aluminum foil emergency blanket on the bare ground) and got amazing video of me glaciading. Greatest hike I have ever accomplished. carved "Slayer" in the shack on top :)
Reviewed by Brian on 7/27/2007
Climbed it twice this July; amazed at how much the terrain can change in 13-days. Loved the glissade. From Crescent Glacier down to Cold Springs it was hard on my joints, but we had unbelievable weather for both hikes. Slept under the stars at Lunchcounter the second trip and really enjoyed the shooting stars to the north. Did not like the extra weight of a two day hike, but the moon lit night and shooting stars was very cool. Better train for the false summit...or else.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Washington Hiking, Washington Trails, Washington Hikes, Klickitat County Hiking, Klickitat County Trails, Klickitat County Hikes