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Bird Creek Meadows

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area
View map below

Length

3.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 500 ft.
Highest Point: 6085 ft.

Rating

4.14 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2019
 
Limited Access: This area is only open to the public from August 30 to October 1 2021. A day-use fee of $20 is required.
 
 

Bird Creek Meadows is a short, easy crowd pleaser. Known for its abundant wildflower meadows, views of Mount Adams, Mount Hood and the Hellroaring Canyon, and little creeks, lakes and waterfalls, the trail provides a nice three mile loop for hikers.

This is one of guidebook author Joan Burton's favorite family hikes, and she provides a great write-up in her Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & Cascades book (Mountaineers Books).

The loop begins at Bird Lake and in no time you'll find yourself at your first photo op of Hellroaring Canyon. Continuing on, the trail gradually ascends with Mount Adams looming ahead and wildflowers and birdsong all around. You'll cross Crooked Creek three times and at just over one mile, Crooked Creek Falls will appear. Peel yourself away, and take the Round-the-Mountain trail at 1.5 miles.

The next turn will be at the Trail of Flowers. You know what you'll find here! Flowers. Lots and lots of them. The diversity is remarkable, and this is one hike where you'll want a field guide. If you can lift your eyes from your feet, you will see Mt. Hood to the east and stare straight-on into the south flank of Mt. Adams.

There are plenty of sidetrips here that are well-worth the extra mileage, especially the Hellroaring Canyon Viewpoint. Bringing a map will help you identify the possibilities. Return on Trail 105 past Bluff Lake for your return.

A day-use fee to help defray tribal expenses is required at this location and is available at the trailhead.

 

Bird Creek Meadows

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.1393, -121.4376 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area

Yakama Nation Mt. Adams Recreation Area, Yakama Nation - https://www.ynwildlife.org/Recreation.php

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Hikes with Kids Western Washington and the Cascades by Joan Burton (Mountaineers Books)

USFS Mount Adams

Buy the Green Trails Mt Adams No. 367S map

Getting There

From Vancouver, go east on Hwy 14 to a crossing of the White Salmon River. Cross it, then take a left turn onto 141A signed for Pucker Huddle. 141A goes up the hill to a "T" intersection. At the "T", turn left and that puts you on State Route 141. Go to Husum, then through BZ Corner and then Trout Lake.

From SR 14 to Trout Lake is about 20 miles. From the gas station Y in Trout Lake, take the east fork (that's the right fork as you head north toward "downtown"). At 1.1 miles, stay right at the fork, following the Mount Adams RECREATION AREA/BIRD CREEK MEADOWS sign. At 1.4 miles from the gas station in Trout Lake, stay right again at another fork.

After 4.3 miles, you pass into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and a sign informs you that you are on Road 82. At 4.4 miles, the road narrows and turns to gravel, and you come to a three-way fork. Take the middle option. Immediately after this fork, signs confirm you are still on your way to Bird Creek Meadows and you are still on Road 82.

At 10.2 miles, follow a sign left onto Road 8290. At 10.7 miles you come to an unsigned fork; stay left. Pass through a gate at 11.7 miles, then another at 12.9. Immediately following the second gate, you cross over Bird Creek. At 14.7 miles, you come to Mirror Lake; you can see the lake on your left.

Continue past the lake and head straight towards Bench Lake. Continue on for approximately 3.0 miles, or until you arrive at Bench Lake Campground.

Limited Access: This area is only open to the public from August 30 to October 1 2021. A day-use fee of $20 is required.
 

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Bird Creek Meadows

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