Vicinity trail map of the Mt Adams Wilderness including: Round the Mountain #9, Looking Glass Lake #9A, High Camp #10, Stagman Ridge #12, Muddy Meadows #13, Shorthorn #16, Divide Camp #112, Killen Creek Trail #113, High Line trail #114, and South Climb #183.
This heavily used trail provides access to the South Climb of Mt. Adams in the Mt. Adams Wilderness. 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' summit of Mt. Adams.
Northwest Forest Pass Required if accessed via Cold Springs Campground. Northwest Forest Pass parking voucher included with purchase of Cascade Volcano Pass. Cascade Volcano Pass required to hike or climb above 7000 feet. Cascade Volcano Passes are not available at the South Climb Trailhead.
Directions: Forest Road 80, to 8040, to 8040-500. 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 #72 depart.
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 became 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. Features: 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.