2455 Hwy. 141
Trout Lake, WA 98650
- 3.4 miles (5.5 km)
- Elevation Range:
- 5600 feet to 12276 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 6676 feet
- Mid-July to October
This heavily used trail provides access to the South Climb of Mt. Adams. This is not a technically challenging climb, but it takes climbers at least 6 to 8 hours to ascend the nearly 6,700 vertical feet across snow and rock to reach the 12,276-foot summit of Mt. Adams.
From the trailhead, the trail follows an old road for 2 miles to the timberline, where it enters the wilderness, crosses Round the Mountain Trail, and continues toward the summit of Mt. Adams (approximately 5.7 miles from Cold Springs). The trail is maintained to the 8,000-foot level on Crescent Ridge, then an unmaintained trail continues to Lunch Counter. A footpath accesses the false summit, Pikers Peak (11,600 feet elevation). The climb continues northwest to the summit.
Construction of a fire lookout on the summit of Mt. Adams began in 1918. It took three summers to haul materials to the summit and construct the building. The lookout was staffed for two seasons before it was abandoned. Arthur Jones, the lookout guard, inscribed the rocks at Pikers Peak. In the 1930s, after the lookout was no longer used for fire detection, the lookout was used as the base of a sulfur mining operation on the summit. Sulfur was mined and hauled down the mountain on pack mules. Eventually, the sulfur market nose-dived and the cost of hauling the sulfur down the mountain because cost prohibitive. The mining operation was abandoned.
Today the lookout is covered by glacial snow and ice. Climbers can see parts of the building at various times. The climber's register is located on top of the lookout building.
Historic wagon road, used in the 1930's for mining sulfur on the Summit of Mt. Adams, mountain views, Crescent Glacier, and an old lookout.
Map + Directions
Road 8040500 (Cold Springs Trailhead
South Climb - Trailhead is at Cold Springs campground just south of the Mt. Adams Wilderness where South Climb trail No. 183 and Cold Springs trail No. 72 depart.