Of the five major volcanic peaks in the Washington Cascades, only Mount Baker lacks any sort of around-the-mountain trail. The remaining four all have very scenic routes that feature lots of flowers, terrific mountain scenery, and great views. The journey around Mount Adams includes the same attractions as the others but also has some significant differences.
First of all, the trail here is less strenuous, generally managing to avoid the deep canyons and high ridges found on the other trips. Second, the weather on Mount Adams is usually better, since it is located further east. Finally, longer road access over gravel and dirt roads ensures that Mount Adams is somewhat less crowded, so while you won’t exactly be lonesome you should enjoy more solitude. The biggest drawback of this hike is a large gap on the east side of the mountain that is missing any sort of trail, so the full loop cannot be completed. Thus, unlike the trips around other mountains, this hike requires a significant backtrack and a long car shuttle.
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