Mount Adams Rec. Area: Wildflowers at Bird Creek Meadows! (Washington)

Apr 4, 2016
In mid-August, we hiked the Bird Creek Meadows Loop from Bird Lake, with a small side-trip to Hellroaring Overlook. This was our second visit to the incredibly beautiful Mount Adams Recreation Area. On our last visit, we hiked up to Iceberg Lake via the Bird Creek Meadows Trailhead, along the way passing Hellroaring Overlook and 30+ mountain goats. See that trip report here.

It was incredibly beautiful! We got to hike the loop in mid-August of 2015, just before the Cougar Creek Fire swept through the area this past summer. Much of Bird Creek Meadows was spared from the fire, but everything below Bluff Lake, including Bird Lake, was consumed by the fire.

We hiked the loop clockwise, starting on the Bird Lake Trail and ending on the Bluff Lake Trail.

Opening Photo:

Small mountainside stream at Bird Creek Meadows

Here is a video/short film I put together of this area, filmed during this hike and the previous hike up to Iceberg Lake in 2014.

Distance: 5.67 mi

Elevation SRTM
Elevation Gain: 1149.88 ft
Elevation Loss: 1149.88 ft
Min Elevation: 5597.11 ft
Max Elevation: 6502.62 ft

GPS Track of our Route–the classic Bird Creek Meadows loop described in most hiking guides.

(Interactive CalTopo Map at the bottom of trip report.)

An Arial View:

Here is the topo map found on the Oregon Hikers Field Guide. Read the PH/OH hiking guide here

------Trip Report------
Mount Adams' 12,276 foot summit loomed over Trout Lake and Hwy 141 on the way to the trailhead:

We started at the trailhead at Bird Lake Campground. This is Bird Lake before the fire.

Another view of Bird Lake:

Starting out at the Bird Lake Trailhead, heading up the Bird Lake Trail towards Crooked Creek Falls:

Bird Lake Trail

The trail closely follows Crooked Creek, crossing it at times, like here:

A small waterfall along the Bird Lake Trail; the trail crosses over the creek just above the falls. Sorry for the blurry photo. >.<

Crossing Crooked Creek again:

Nearing the falls:

Crooked Creek Falls! This falls is around 50' tall, I believe. It is a gorgeous waterfall; one of my favorites on Mount Adams.


Wildflowers along a mountain stream:

A close-up:

Along the Bird Lake Trail, we came to a neat viewpoint:

Soon after the falls, we reached the junction with the Round the Mountain Trail:

There are many small stream crossings along the Round the Mountain Trail, like this one here:

Small staircase waterfall along the Round the Mountain Trail:

That dramatic lighting! I love hiking under this kind of sky.

We passed a small pond along the Round the Mountain Trail

Most of the flowers were spent by now, but a few patches like this one were left:

Soon we reached the junction with the Trail of Flowers. We turned left.

Looking southeast from the trail:

Looking down from the Trail of Flowers at a concrete box near the picnic area.

We then took Trail #67 to the Hellroaring Canyon Overlook:

Here are some of the flowers we saw along Trail #67:

Upon nearing the overlook, we came upon a nice patch of flowers in full bloom alongside a little stream:

Nearing the Hellroaring Overlook!

Soon Mount Adams and the massive Hellroaring Canyon unfolded before us. Mount Adams remained mostly hidden, but the dramatic clouds and epic canyon vista made up it. :D
The ridge on the far right is the Ridge of Wonders, and the large waterfall at center is unofficially called Hellroaring Basin Falls

Little Mount Adams prominently marks the southeastern end of the Ridge of Wonders

This is what the Hellroaring Overlook looks like on a clear, sunny day:

Photo taken in 2014

After Hellroaring Overlook, it was getting too dark for regular photos. So the rest of the pictures from here after are grainy.

Some more wildflowers along the Trail of Flowers. On returning, we took the eastern half of the Trail of Flowers loop trail.

A colorful display:

Another really blurry photo. >.<
Nearly all the picnic tables at the Bird Creek Meadows Picnic Area are half-buried in the ground. Here is one of tables:

After passing through most of the half-buried picnic tables, we arrived at the Bird Creek Meadows sign:

Leaving the picnic area. We took the Bluff Lake Trail back to Bird Lake, but it was too dark to take any more photos.

But we did get one final view of Mount Adams. An unusable/retired water spigot used to serve the picnic area at one time.

Along the Bluff Lake Trail, after passing Bluff Lake, we crossed beneath this nice [unnamed?] waterfall. As this falls lies below Bluff Lake, chances are it was consumed by the fire. :(

GPSfly Track:

Click here to view on CalTopo
nice. I hiked to high camped on the west side several years ago. I do miss seeing Hood, Adams and st Helens on most days, but will be back to visit someday
nice. I hiked to high camped on the west side several years ago. I do miss seeing Hood, Adams and st Helens on most days, but will be back to visit someday

Thank you! High Camp is quite beautiful! We backpacked to High Camp a few years ago via the Divide Camp Trail. Absolutely beautiful. I sure do love Washington. :)
Nice video and report, that's some stunning scenery. I've heard of luxury items while hiking, like a book or extra camera lens, but first time seeing my little ponys on the trail. Those windflowers look amazing.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
scatman Mount Superior - July 14, 2023 Hiking & Camping 16
scatman Mount Raymond - July 8, 2023 Hiking & Camping 17
scatman Mount Aire - June 17, 2023 Hiking & Camping 23
ANelson Hiking to the Top of the Henry's (Mount Ellen) August 2022 Hiking & Camping 10
scatman Mount Olympus - March 18, 2023 Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Mount Wire - February 25, 2023 Hiking & Camping 15
scatman Mount Wire Loop - 2003 and 2016? Hiking & Camping 13
scatman Mount Aire - June 18, 2022 Hiking & Camping 6
scatman Mount Wire - April 30, 2022 Hiking & Camping 6
Yvonne Climbing Mount Saint Helens via Monitor Ridge Route, July 2021 Hiking & Camping 16
scatman Mount Olympus - January 17, 2022 Hiking & Camping 6
scatman Mount Wire - January 1, 2022 Hiking & Camping 8
scatman Mount Van Cott - December 18, 2021 Hiking & Camping 25
scatman Mount Wire - December 11, 2021 Hiking & Camping 12
scatman Mount Olympus - November 13, 2021 Hiking & Camping 11
scatman Mount Wire and Mount Van Cott Lollipop Loop (or the Foothill Follies) - November 6. 2021 Hiking & Camping 20
TheMountainRabbit Horse Ridge to Mount Febbas (Fitzpatrick Wilderness) - July 2021 Backpacking 24
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - July 3, 2021 Hiking & Camping 12
scatman Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob Lollipop Loop - June 18, 2021 Hiking & Camping 17
scatman Mount Aire and Unnamed Peaks 8490 and 8319 Lollipop Loop - June 12, 2021 Hiking & Camping 11
Udink Mount Belknap and Bullion Canyon Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Mount Aire - January 2, 2021 Hiking & Camping 4
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - October 17, 2020 Hiking & Camping 16
norwegianxplorer Summiting Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake, 6 Days backpacking the Sierra before the Creek Fire closed everything down. Backpacking 5
scatman Mount Nebo - August 6, 2020 Hiking & Camping 13
SteveR Mount Burke, Alberta Hiking & Camping 5
scatman Mount Raymond via Bowman Fork - June 27, 2020 Hiking & Camping 6
J Mount Nutt Wilderness Cave Spring Area dayhike Nov 26, 2019 Hiking & Camping 0
scatman Mount Olympus - November 10, 2019 Hiking & Camping 1
BJett Mount Rogers National Recreation Area - Virginia Backpacking 18
TractorDoc Three Days at Mount Rainier in late July. Hiking & Camping 10
TractorDoc Mount Rainier in Late July -- Day Hiking Meet Up (Members Only) 0
scatman Mount Aire - September 23, 2018 Hiking & Camping 11
stevecochranephotography Blue Lakes Trail... Southwest Colorado in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness Hiking & Camping 9
stevecochranephotography Notch Mountain Trail - Mount of the Holy Cross and Shelter - Minturn, Colorado Hiking & Camping 4
Dave Mount Watson Hiking & Camping 12
scatman Mount Olympus - April 5, 2018 Hiking & Camping 15
AbinadiWitness Part 1: Telluride Via Ferrata and Mount Sneffels SW Ridge from Blue Lakes- Colorado Trip # 1 - 2017 Backpacking 0
Udink Deadman Point, Haystack Mountain, and Mount Tukuhnikivatz Hiking & Camping 3
misSOULa Montana's Pintler Wilderness: Goat Flat and Mount Tiny Backpacking 6
Devin Ashby Mount Agassiz Beta Trip Planning 4
scatman Mount Olympus - February 20, 2017 Hiking & Camping 9
scatman North Summit of Mount Olympus - November 6, 2016 Hiking & Camping 8
IntrepidXJ Mount Tukuhnikivatz Hiking & Camping 6
Udink Mount Peale Hiking & Camping 4
Udink Mount Sneffels and Handies Peak Hiking & Camping 4
blueeyes Winter Snowshoe Mount Baird, ID April 23-24 2016 Backpacking 10
Bryan Harwood Glacier National Park: Wintersun on Mount Brown March. 2016 Hiking & Camping 4
Tres Westbrook Death Valley National Park - Day Two - Mount Perry Hiking & Camping 4
scatman Mount Wire - January 10, 2016 Hiking & Camping 15

Similar threads