Hiking Washington's Mount Adams Country
by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)
© Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Caveat: I'm giving this 5 stars largely because I tagged on part of the Northbound PCT. It was AMAZING! I hiked in by Stagman, according to this Guide, and set up camp at Horseshoe Meadows. I didn't encounter any other hikers until I reached the camp. Stagman was a little challenging for me since I had a full pack for solo camping. Still, my trail running shoes were perfect for the job. I'd recommend long pants - while the trail is very clear, it is sometimes narrow with tallish brush on either side. I passed through 2+ beautiful wildflower-filled meadows and enjoyed awesome views of Adams. After setting up camp, I headed E on Round the Mtn Trail. There's a spur trail just ahead of the first stream after the meadow. If you head N on it just a few hundred feet, you'll reach a small but lovely cascading waterfall. I tried to get to Lookingglass "Lake", but lost the trail and had to head back before sun down. The real magic, though, was the next day. I connected up with N-bound PCT. Breathtaking views at every turn! I made it up and through the lava fields, also incredible, then turned around and headed back. The Pikas cheered me on. Downsides: Aside from the Stagman Ridge Trail part, the trails are fairly popular. I was especially disappointed when a large boyscout troop showed up at Horseshoe Meadows and I lost my camp solitude. There aren't many other options in the area for camping. And the mosquitoes! My goodness, they made it impossible to sit in quiet enjoyment outside of a tent during the day. Seriously, I recommend calling the ranger station to get the bug status report, and consider postponing a trip here until they thin out. All that said, the wildflowers, butterflies, birds and views made it all very worthwhile!
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