In 2012, Tami Asars hiked almost 900 miles around Mount Adams and nearby Goat Rocks Wilderness, trekking by beds of pristine wildflowers and bushwhacking her way through the trails less traveled.
It was all for her guidebook, released in April, “Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks” (Mountaineers Books, $18.95).
An outdoors writer and nature photographer, the North Bend resident also used to teach outdoor courses at REI and served as a guide at Mount Rainier National Park. Her free time is spent — no surprise here — hiking around the Evergreen State.
“Day hiking gives the soul an opportunity to rest, the mind an opportunity to expand, and the body an opportunity to be challenged,” she writes. “Feet, instead of wings, bring us to high places, where the cares of life are left behind and the modern conveniences we depend on are unavailable. Hiking is not just about getting off the grid, but about getting back to the very things that build our human character.”
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Here are five favorite day hikes Asars suggests around Mount Adams and Goat Rocks. The comments are hers.
• Bear Creek Mountain,Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. 7 miles. 1,635-foot elevation gain. Best time to go: early August-October
This hike is ideal for hikers who want a moderate trek. A gradual climb through meadows and talus fields lead you to the alpine views at the top.
• Cispus Pass,Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. 14 miles. 4,500-foot elevation gain. Best time: August-October.
If you can handle the challenging elevation gain, sweeping panoramic views await. Climb toward Nannie Ridge, then on to the subalpine shoreline of Sheep Lake. From there, hop on the Pacific Crest Trail, crossing lupine meadows, alpine landscapes and tundra-like ridges, as you head toward Cispus Pass.
• Jumbo Peak Knoll, Gifford Pinchot National Forest. 5.2 miles. 1,345-foot elevation gain. Best time: late July-October.
Because few have heard of this hike, you’ll likely have the trail and a front-row seat to Mount Adams all to yourself. The hike itself is moderate, but the stubby knoll itself requires agile feet. From atop the knoll, you will see wildflowers of almost every Northwest variety. To the southeast is Mount Adams. Look for mountain goats or at least their hair on rough stone and logs. A longer day can be made by also visiting Sunrise Peak, located en route to the knoll.
• Mount Adams south climb,Gifford Pinchot National Forest. 11.6 miles. 6,950-foot gain. Best time: May-October. (Note: Climbers must secure a Cascade Volcano Pass and fill out the climbing register at the Mount Adams Ranger Station in Trout Lake before heading up.)
This is the quintessential Northwest beginner mountaineering challenge and a good test if you want to summit Mount Rainier. Mount Adams, the state’s second highest volcano after Rainier, has similar challenges. Be prepared for the mental battle of distance, the physicality of the steep headwall ascents, hazards of mountaineering, altitude demands and year-round snowfields. It’s best to have mountaineering skills, such as knowledge of self-arresting and gear such as crampons and ice axes. A gold star if you make it to the top of this long, snowy hike.
• Langfield Falls, Gifford Pinchot National Forest. .4 miles. 100-foot elevation gain. Best time: July-October.
This easy hike is ideal for families or those with physical challenges. Located outside of the town of Trout Lake, the short trail guides hikers through a conifer forest before ending at a buzzing waterfall. A memorial plaque, honoring Mount Adams forest ranger K.C. Langfield, appears at a grand vista, a great photo opportunity. You can wander down to the falls, which can vary from 75 feet wide in early summer to just a few yards wide in the late season.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle