This hike on the west side of Mt Adams doesn't get a lot of attention but is quite nice. I usually backpack and stay at Crystal Lake, but had places to be Sunday so made a dayhike of it. About 6 miles one way and 2600 feet EG. The Riley Ck trail gets you to the PCT and from there you must XC between a half and 3/4 mile to this lake. There are a number of possible routes and you can get a map and figure it out. A ranger told me there were about 500 people on the South Climb route the same day, a one-day record as far as anybody at the ranger station can remember. I saw about 10 people.
The Riley Creek Fire last year burned the central section of this hike, but only about a half mile's worth on the trail.
Mosquitoes were out but in moderate quantities most places.
flowers at the trailhead
you reach the burn in about 3 miles, near this meadow, which is where the fire teams camped for weeks. You can barely tell now.
where the burn meets the green
woodpeckers love the dead trees
many ponds, and some mosquitoes, in the middle of the hike
approaching Riley Meadows, and nice views
Riley Creek already at mid-to-late August levels
Crystal Lake at 6300' and tree line. Views of Adams, Rainier, St Helens, and Goat Rocks
the terrain above is a delite for alpine wanderers. I didn't go this time, but there are more lakes up there, and a high traverse via The Hump and The Bumper to Horseshoe Meadow is always a great option, particularly for those who like alpine botany
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