This route is the perfect gateway to Mount Adams spectacular high country on its less-visited western side. It climbs through dense forests, past a small lake, then across Riley Meadows, which features great campsites, before joining the Pacific Crest Trail. From there you can continue on to Sheep Lake or head off-trail to check out Crystal Lake at the edge of the tree line. WTA volunteers restored a section of trail heading across Riley Meadows in 2009.
The trail starts out climbing at a pretty steep grade. After the first mile you're about 1,000 feet higher in elevation and the pitch flattens out at the Wilderness border. Then it climbs again passing a small lake at about 5,200 feet. Now the trees start to thin out and are broken by small openings with ephemeral ponds and some small meadows.
Once you reach Riley Meadows, Mount Adams comes into view. Look for posts to guide you across the meadows and stay to the south side of Riley creek to follow the trail. The route traverses Riley Creek across a broad rock strewn wash. Again look for posts (intalled by WTA volunteers) to lead the way. The last 1/8 mile climbs up to the jct with the PCT.
- 10.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 2,280 feet
- Highest Point
- 5,800 feet
Hiking Riley Camp
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.2323, -121.6272 Open in Google Maps