Gotchen Creek - Aiken Lava Bed East Trail

Trout Lake, Washington

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The east side of Mount Adams is a world unto itself. Though all of Adams is in the dry zone of the Cascades, the eastern side of the big volcano, especially along the black-rock scar of the Aiken Lava Bed, is dry as a bone. This route explores the sparse pine forests flanking the edge of that massive ancient river of molten rock that is the Aiken Lava Bed. Though the magma no longer flows, hike here in August and you’ll get a sense of the heat that must have been thrown off by the molten flow—the hot August sun bakes that black basalt rock until the ambient air around the lava bed can easily climb 10 to 20 degrees hotter than that of the surrounding forestlands. That means a 90-degree summer day can be 110 degrees Fahrenheit on the rocks!
Day Hiking: South Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: South Cascades

by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

The east side of Mount Adams is a world unto itself. Though all of Adams is in the dry zone of the Cascades, the eastern side of the big volcano, especially along the black-rock scar of the Aiken Lava Bed, is dry as a bone. This route explores the sparse pine forests flanking the edge of that massive ancient river of molten rock that is the Aiken Lava Bed.

Though the magma no longer flows, hike here in August and you’ll get a sense of the heat that must have been thrown off by the molten flow—the hot August sun bakes that black basalt rock until the ambient air around the lava bed can easily climb 10 to 20 degrees hotter than that of the surrounding forestlands. That means a 90-degree summer day can be 110 degrees Fahrenheit on the rocks!

© 2007 Dan A. Nelson /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Trout Lake
Distance: 11
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Late June-October
Trailhead Elevation: 3,700 feet
Top Elevation: 6,300 feet
Local Contacts: USFS Mount Adams Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 367S Mount Adams
Driving Directions: Directions to Gotchen Creek - Aiken Lava Bed East Trail

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Apr 2018