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Stagman Ridge, Horseshoe Meadow, Lookingglass Lake

South Cascades

Hike through wildflower-filled burned forest to subalpine meadows, a small reflecting lake and views of Mount Adams. Continue reading


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area
Jump to Map & Directions


14.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 2400 ft.
Highest Point: 6100 ft.


3.83 out of 5

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  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Ridges/passes
  • Wildlife
  • Established campsites
  • Mountain views
  • Old growth
  • Dogs allowed on leash

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


The hike begins on a former roadbed, climbing .7 mile to the Mount Adams Wilderness boundary. Enter forest burned in the 2012 Cascade Creek Fire. Hike along a ridge through thick huckleberry shrubland. Wildflowers— aster, goldenrod, fireweed and yarrow—bloom profusely.

Notice patches of live trees that survived the hopscotch fire and listen for sooty grouse hooting from their tops. Dead trees provide perches for mountain bluebirds, flycatchers, pine siskins and many other species. Views toward Mount Adams entice you onward.

Climb steeply to the next ridge, then climb again to the shoulder of Grassy Hill at 2 miles. Descend to a saddle and drop down to a lush valley that escaped the fire. Pass a meadow known as Bottle Camp to cross a small spring-fed creek at 2.6 miles.

Ascend through grassy woodlands and huckleberry fields. At 3.2 miles, reach a beautiful meadow with the first open view of Mount Adams. Oldtimers named it “Squishy Meadow” due to its early season dampness.

This meadow is so beautiful that you might be tempted to stay here all day to soak up the view. Cross the meadow and enter burned forest. Climb several switchbacks and reach a branch of Cascade Creek at 3.7 miles. A sign points to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in a hard left turn. Another sign announces Graveyard Camp, which got its name from a large herd of sheep killed here during a severe storm in the late 19 century. (Sheepherders named geographical features on all sides of Mount Adams, including Stagman Ridge.)

Follow the trail as it climbs over several ridges to reach the junction with the PCT #2000 at 4.5 miles. Turn right and follow the PCT for .5 mile to a junction with Round the Mountain Trail #9. The PCT turns left. Go right and follow the Round the Mountain Trail a few hundred yards to Horseshoe Meadow, which offers seasonal wildflowers and excellent views of the southwest face of Mount Adams. Several campsites are nearby.

Continue east on the Round the Mountain Trail to the junction with Lookingglass Lake Trail #9A at 6 miles. Descend through meadows and charred timber toward the lake. Cross three streams, looking for cairns to stay on route. At a junction at 6.8 miles, go left to Lookingglass Lake at 7 miles. From the southern shore on a still day, Mount Adams is reflected in the lake, hence its name. Several campsites are located around the lake. Spend an hour or the night, then return the way you came.

Loop Option: This loop isn’t for everyone due to challenging stream crossings and routefinding. The Graveyard Camp Trail has been abandoned since the 1970s and the 2012 Cascade Creek Fire severely burned much of this route making it more indistinct. If you are confident of your backcountry skills, climb .3 mile from Lookingglass Lake to the Y intersection. Turn left and descend to swift Cascade Creek. Figure out the best way to cross. Cross a boggy area, several creeks and three gullies to reach Graveyard Camp in 1 mile. Rejoin the Stagman Ridge Trail and return to the trailhead for a total distance of 11.5 miles.

WTA Pro Tip: Mosquitoes are abundant in July and early August.

Hike by WTA Correspondents
Susan Saul

Stagman Ridge, Horseshoe Meadow, Lookingglass Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.1401, -121.5974 Open in Google Maps


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area

Stagman Ridge (#12), Pacific Crest Trail (#2000), Round the Mountain (#9), Lookingglass Lake (#9A)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking - Mount Adams and Goat Rocks, Tami Asars, Mountaineer Books, 2014

Green Trails No. 367S Mount Adams;

U.S.D.A., Forest Service: Mt. Adams Wilderness, Indian Heaven Wilderness, Trapper Creek Wilderness, 2005

Getting There

From Trout Lake, at the “Y” at the gas station, drive north for 1.2 miles and turn left on paved Forest Road 23 signed for Randle. Drive 6.5 miles and turn right on gravel Forest Road 8031. Crossing the White Salmon River, in .4 miles turn left on Road 8031-070, signed Stagman Ridge Trail. Pass unsigned side roads. At 3.1 miles turn right at a sign for Stagman Ridge Trail. Continue .8 mile to the trailhead at road’s end in a loop. Parking for up to a half dozen vehicles. The road is rough in places but passable for passenger vehicles.

Trailhead amenities: Campsite with picnic table and fire ring; no toilet

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Stagman Ridge, Horseshoe Meadow, Lookingglass Lake

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