Hike Distance: 11.7 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1190.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 2579 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 154636 feet
Mt. Adams Wilderness was calling to us, so we drove the 2-1/4 hours to get to the Riley Trail #64. Our intentions were to hike the five miles up to the PCT, and then hand out some trail magic if we happened to meet any thru-hikers! When we arrived at the trail head there were two sheriff’s vehicles. One of the deputy’s was sitting on a chair, and he came and told us about them searching for a person that was going to commit suicide! They had the suicide note and the person’s vehicle, but not him. He said that the trail wasn’t closed but there was no danger in going if we wanted to, so we started our hike.
We read a trip report about this trail and it indicated a 1000 foot elevation gain in the first mile, which is a very aggressive climb. That concerned me but we were going to see if this posed a problem? It took about 1.8 miles to go up an elevation of 1000 feet, so the report was inaccurate.
The trail did ascend up about 670 feet in the first mile, but the grade was comfortable! We continued the climb, and intersected the Riley Shortcut Trail, which goes south to meet the PCT, but we didn’t want this option. We continued hiking east, and ascend in elevation. We passed beautiful wildflowers, and a few lakes/ponds. We saw giant orange mushrooms, which looked odd. We passed through a long meadow, which gave us some views of Mt. Adams. We also crossed streams and meandered across Riley Creek. And, we finally met up with the PCT. 🙂
Once on the PCT we hiked north and south on it to try and meet some thru-hikers, and we hit paydirt! We met a single northbound hiker named “Speedy Gonzalez”. We also met a group of thru-hikers named: “Eagle Eye”, “Squirrel”, “Muffin Cheeks” and “White Walker”! They were all very energetic and fun to talk with. We only brought Starbucks Via Coffee packets, since they don’t weigh much, but everyone was appreciative.
It was a long haul up the trail and we needed to get back to our car to minimize driving at night. We cruised down the trail, partially because the mosquitoes were horrible! We had to put on our head nets, and apply bug repellent since it was so bad. We got back to our car and the sheriff cars were gone. We never saw anyone on the trail that was looking for the person that threatened suicide, and didn’t check up on it when we got home. The clouds that had surrounded Mt. Adams in the morning had burned off at the end of our hike, and I took a picture of this majestic volcano on the drive home. 🙂