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Round the Mountain Trail follows the rolling grades around the base of Mt. Adams. The general route has been used by Native Americans since at least the 1840s to access huckleberry patches on the north and west sides of the mountain.

Beginning from the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000 near Horseshoe Meadows, the trail heads southeastward, at around 6000 feet elevation. The first trail junction is at 1.1 miles, with Looking Glass Lake Trail #9A. The trail continues for another 2.2 miles, crossing several glacier-fed melt water streams, to the junction with Shorthorn Trail #16. The trail continues on for another 2.8 miles to the junction with the South Climb Trail #183. From here the trail follows the wilderness boundary, skirting the north end of the Aiken Lava Bed. The trail enters the Yakima Indian Reservation at the junction with Snipes Mountain Trail #11. The Forest Service maintains the trail to the reservation boundary. The section through Bird Creek Meadows is under management of the Yakima Indian Nation. Permits to use Yakima lands are available from rangers stationed at Bird Lake.

You can extend your trip by using a section of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from Horseshoe Meadows to the north. From here, head east and then south again on Highline Trail #114. In order to completely circle the mountain, you will need to negotiate a 4.5 mile section between Avalanche Valley and Bird Creek Meadows where there is no trail connection. This is difficult terrain to cross, with a number of extremely difficult stream crossings.

Round the Mountain Trail has numerous scenic opportunities, as it follows a generally rolling grade around the base of Mt. Adams. The slopes are splashed with color from wildflowers, amid the small sub alpine fir and white bark pine. Other features include numerous crystal clear streams and up-close views of Mt. Adams. The trail also offers views of the massive debris avalanche that occurred in 1997, beginning in the Avalanche Glacier cirque, at the 12,000 feet elevation on the southwestern flank of Mt. Adams.

Directions: From Trout Lake, Round the Mountain Trail can be accessed from the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000, Snipes Mountain Trail #11, Shorthorn Trail #16, and South Climb Trail #183. The most direct route is via the Shorthorn Trail. From Trout Lake Travel north Primary Forest Route 23 to Forest Route 80. Continue on 80 across the forest boundary and until it becomes Forest Route 8040. Take 8040 north to the Morrison Creek Campground where Shorthorn Trail begins. Follow this trail north for 2.8 miles, where it intersects Round the Mountain Trail.

Distance: 8.3 miles

Usage: Heavy

Difficulty: Moderate

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Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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