On July 28th and 29th, we hiked to the top of Mount Adams which is 12,281 ft (3,743 m) in elevation. I highly recommend this trip.
We arrived at the trailhead on the night of the 27th and camped by the parking area. The road had some waterbars but the ditches were filled with gravel and so normal cars could make it all the way.
The next morning we headed out. The trip starts on a dusty trail that was an old road. It eventually turns into a rougher trail at a creek crossing and then climbs up along a ridge and/or snowfield to a relatively flat area called the Lunch Counter at 9200 feet. Some people do the entire trip as a day hike. For people doing an overnight trip, the Lunch Counter is a popular camping spot.
You could see some haze in the air on the first day but it wasn't too bad. However, after exploring around the high point of the Lunch Counter we spotted a forest fire on the horizon. That fire would bring in a lot of haze to the lower elevations on the second day.
It's a beutiful camping spot. We managed to find some water at the toe of a snowfield but I think you would be well advised to be prepared to melt snow - especially earlier in the season.
The sunset was incredible with excellent views of Mt. St Helens.
At night, the stars filled the sky and framed Pikers Peak (the false summit.)
In the morning, Mount Adams cast a large shadow into the hazy depths below us.
There was a good overnight freeze and so we used crampons and an ice axe for the trip up. I can imagine that the difficulty of this climb and avalanche safety considerations vary greatly over the season.
The forest fire haze created an interest effect. In the bottom of this picture you can see the Lunch Counter area from the ascent up to the false summit.
Once you get up to Pikers Peak, you can see the route to the true summit. The sun and wind have created an interesting texture in the snow.
An old forest fire watch station is located at the summit. Apparently it took three years to build but was abandon after being used for only two years. The views are spectactular.
As we headed back down, it was apparent that we would be leaving the clean crisp air behind as we descended into the haze. Choosing the right path down can be a little tricky. It's easy to end up following the wrong ridge or snowfield down.
The glissade chutes on this route are exhilirating.
After getting off the snow, we headed back through some meadows and into the forest fire burn from last year. It always amazes me how little of the trees actually burn in a forest fire.
On the drive out towards Mount St. Helens, we got a great view of Mount Adams.
And then the next day enjoyed some mountain biking on the Plains of Abraham.