East Side Route on Adams Peak
I was on my way back to Medford, Oregon from a quick trip to California climbing some Prominence Peaks. On Sunday, September 24, 2005 I climbed Pyramid Peak in the Desolation Wilderness and then headed north. I got down to the Adams Peak area in the late afternoon, but I went over to Dixie Mountain first and drove up to the lookout. I saw a nice little black bear on the access road to the lookout over there, and met a nice guy who was manning the lookout.
From there I headed to Adams Peak. I knew I didn’t have enough time to complete this climb before dark, but I headed over there anyway. I planned on car camping some where along the access road.
I found a great spot just off Constantia Road about .1 mile up the gravel road to Adams Peak. I settled in for the night.
In the morning, I started driving up the road following the topo’s. I was really glad it wasn’t muddy. This road must be a nightmare when it is wet. The road wandered all over the mountain as it climbed up out of the valley. About 6.8 miles up the road, there was a fork not shown on the topo’s. The main road went over a little saddle and then started descending. I decided the unmapped road to the right must be right since it went up. After all, UP is where I wanted to go.
In another mile I could see I was approaching my GPS waypoint at the end of the road. I lucked out that this was the road I wanted. The road went through another log landing and then it became more narrow and the brush was hanging over and scratching my truck. It looked like quad OHV’s had used the road a little. I kept going. I was in Hi Range 4WD now, but had to shift to Lo Range to get over a big rock. I kept going to the bitter end. The road diminished to a mountain bike track ahead so I pulled into a little parking area about a mile past the log landing.
The hike from here looked straightforward. It wasn’t very far, so I was pretty sure I could find the summit. I followed the trail up until I could see a saddle off to my left. I left the trail and headed for the saddle through some minor under brush, mainly grasses and wildflowers. Before I got to the saddle I saw the summit and just went directly at it. This was a mistake. There was brush in the way and I had to pick and fight my way through it for the last few hundred feet to the summit.
I was surprised to find a register to sign on the summit. It dated back to the 1970’s. there weren’t a lot of signatures in the book, but it looked like several people climb this mountain every year. From the summit I could see the lookout across the lake on Dixie Mountain. I could also see I came up the wrong way. I went down the southwest side of the summit because there was less brush on that side.
The total climb only took about an hour from the end of the road, but it was a great way to begin the day. I headed back down to Hwy 395 and then on towards home in Medford to complete a productive weekend of peakbagging.