From the Crestone side, down in the flats (on the road below the trailhead), the peak looks rather "small" and pyrimidal and in the background. The lower summit of the peak appears larger in the foreground.
This makes for a great climb in and of itself. The views it offers of the peaks to the West and South: of Challenger, Kit Carson, Crestone and Crestone Needle are awesome.
Adams may be under 14,000 feet, but it earns all of the respect of the big peaks and the difference is less than 70 feet. Adams is one of the highest 100 peaks in Colorado.
Either of the trails - South Crestone Lake Trail or Willow Lake Trail will get you to Adams summit. The trail which may be the easiest to follow visually would be the Willow Lake Trail. Willow Lake trail is very heavily travelled and very well marked.
Willow Lake Route:. Follow trail to Willow Lake. Just as you arrive at Willow Lake there is a campsite on the North of the lake. From this campsite go north and up the steep grassy slope towards the saddle between Adams and "Lower Adams." You will not see the saddle as you begin, but after you reach the top of the grassy slope mentioned here it will come into view.
After hiking above the headwall in the photo shown (Photo 1 below), the saddle comes into view
This saddle is best approached from the north east part of the drainage instead of the south west part, although it may look to be a bit longer. The saddle is conspicuous with a lot of loose rock beneath it. There are usually good path to either side of the loose rock. (Photo 2 below)
Once you make the saddle, turn right (to the east) towards the summit. Lean to the West to follow the trail. Photo 3
From the same saddle you could head to the west and hit the summit of Montana Mujeres, the lower peak. This summit is by far more gentle and also offers fantastic views.
Additionally, there is a route to this saddle from South Crestone Lake.
From South Crestone Lake the saddle is in view to the South - South West. As you approach the saddle from the lake, stay to the East for the easiest hiking.
This saddle between Adams and Lower Adams (also called Montana Mujeres) connects the South Crestone and Willow creek drainages. One could camp at South Crestone, swing by Adams and then continue on to camp at Willow Lake and be within striking distance of Challenger and Kit Carson.
More info at: http://www.coloradowilderness.com/wildpages/sangre.html
From the Saguache County Board of County Commissioners:
On Friday, April 20, 2007 it was agreed that the County, Forest Service, Park Service, NAT, spiritual centers and Manitou Institute will collaborate to post signage to discourage hikers from trespassing through private property to access Forest Service land East of the Baca.
Thus as of 4/20/2007, posted Forest Service trailheads make for the only legal access.
Even representatives of the CO Mountain Club are going to help get the trespass access points removed from climber websites they have connections with.