Mt. Adams Climbing Conditions Report

South Climb Route Update- 09/16/2021 (Final update for 2021):


Passes to climb Mt. Adams are available online at May 1 until September 30, passes are required. A climbing permit is not required if not traveling above 7000' of elevation, please fill out a wilderness permit instead.

A pass must be always carried on your person AND be placed in the windshield of your vehicle. Print two copies or have one downloaded on your phone.


South Climb TH Access

The road to the South Climb Trailhead, 8040, has been re-grated beginning at Morrison Creek Campground up to the trailhead. Turn around spots can be difficult to find when parking is limited. Choosing a lower parking spot can help avoid traffic jams and extra driving. Please anticipate this, and if you must park before the trailhead, please do so with other users in mind. Avoid parking on turns in the road, be sure to heed No Parking signs, and leave room for other vehicles to drive past.


MT. ADAMS LOOKOUT: The Mt. Adams lookout has become exposed due to recent melt off. The lookout is considered a historic building. Climbing on the lookout and removal of any artifacts are STRICTLY PROHIBITED. VIOLATORS CAN BE PUNISHED BY A FINE OF UP TO $500 OR IMPRISONMENT UP TO SIX MONTHS OR BOTH.


Snow Pack:

The South Climb route is almost entirely snow free.

We are entering the Fall climbing season which brings with it heightened risk of avalanches, unpredictable weather, unpredictable snowpack, hypothermia, and whiteout conditions

Crampons, ice axe, helmet, and mountaineering boots are mandatory gear requirements for the climb in all seasons.


Route Finding:

The route is now largely on rock although heavily sun cupped sections of snow exist on the middle section of Suksdorf Ridge. Route finding is required on this section with the western edge of the ridgeline presenting the clearest route to Pikers Peak. Cedar posts can be followed on a braided section of trail that connects the upper south climb trail with the beginning of the crescent ridge route at 8,500’.



Glissading is not possible currently due to extensive melt out of snowfields.



Climbers should be aware that forecasts for the surrounding areas do not necessarily reflect mountain weather. Please reference a point forecast from NOAA or the National Weather Service for more specific information on weather conditions.

Mountain weather is always subject to change, be sure to check forecasts prior to departure, but plan accordingly for changing conditions.



Water flow below Lunch Counter is starting to diminish however, Morrison Creek near 6,800’ provides easy access. At the top of crescent ridge running water may be found although the pond formed at the base of the Suksdorf headwall is largely dried up. Finally, above Lunch Counter flowing water is less obvious and climbers should plan accordingly by carrying an appropriate amount or anticipate melting snow.

Water Flow will change as the weather cools and the snowpack stops melting. Morrison Creek is flowing intermittently and will also fluctuate with temperature and snowpack. Plan on melting snow as a backup


Search and Rescue

Mt Adams Safety Alert:

Forest Service personnel are limited on Mt. Adams for the 2021 season, and response times may be longer than normal. Yakima County and the Mt. Adams Ranger District are working closely together to protect volunteers, employees, and visitors.

Please make conservative choices, carry emergency gear, and plan for a self-rescue. Stay within sight and shouting distance of each member of your group; do not split-up. Keep at least one cell phone per group fully charged so that communication may be maintained in the event of a search and/or rescue

If an incident occurs and self-rescue is not feasible, call the Yakima Sheriff's Department 509-574-2500.


Human Waste Carry-out Bags:

Visitors climbing Mt. Adams must pack out their human waste in human waste carry-out bags.  They are provided for free during the summer season at the South Climb Trailhead and in front of the Mt. Adams Ranger Station. For those climbing in the winter season, please bring your own human waste bags and pack them out.

During this time of concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 we ask that visitors please dispose of their human waste bags at home to protect other visitors as well as Forest Service employees.


Bird Creek Meadows:

Contact the Yakama Nation for information on yearly openings of the Bird Creek Meadows and Mt. Adams Recreation Area. There is a $5/day permit required for travel on Yakama Nation lands within the Tract D recreation area. When open to the public, permits may be purchased at the entrance near Mirror Lake. 


Road Conditions:

The road to the South Climb Trailhead, 8040, has been re-grated beginning at Morrison Creek Campground up to the trailhead. When parking please be sure to not block or partially block other vehicles, the roadway, turnarounds, or trailhead parking area loops. Doing so will prevent an ambulance and other emergency vehicles from accessing the trailhead in the event of an emergency. Park farther down the road if necessary, in a pull-off well off the road surface. 


Know Before You Go:

Review forecasts by the National Weather Service and any special postings by the NW Weather and Avalanche Center prior to any mountaineering.

For questions regarding the latest information on conditions, please call:

Mt. Adams Ranger Station at 509-395-3402.