The Abandoned Adams Slide Trail

Buttress Trail talus field.  The Buttress trail turns and heads across this field.  If you don't head across and decided to go up into the woods you will find...

This, the start of the Abandoned Adams Slide Trail

Old faded pieces of paint on a rock blazing the way

Adams Slide Trail.  It's overgrown but can be followed with care.

Adams Slide Trail, heads over boulders in the woods.

Adams Slide Trail,  It's very steep but all enclosed so it's not intimidating.

Adams Slide Trail.  This section was fairly open and easy to follow

Adams Slide Trail.  It's pretty gnarly going up through here, protect your eyes from rouge branches!

Adams Slide Trail.  Looking down, the trail it's steep and narrow

Adams Slide Trail.  As you can see moss has overtaken the rocks.  Dirt and debris has covered most of the slide which is buried beneath this stuff.  This is one of the spots where it's "easy" to follow

Adams Slide Trail.  Gets a little "scratchy" notice the top of the rocks that is the old slide.  Must have been quite the site fifty years ago when these rocks were not buried or the trail was not so enclosed.

Blaze to the right.  There are more blazes found here than any other trail in the wilderness area!

 Blaze and the slide.  Here, the slide is above the dirt and debris through this section

 Cross Blaze.  I always like this blaze.  It must be close to fifty plus years old

 Adams Slide Trail.  Track is visible in this pic.

 Adams Slide Trail, if you head up it you'll know when you're on it and when you are not.  When you're not on track, it's a really rough whack!

 Adams Slide Trail

 Adams Slide Trail, looking down it.  I've been up it twice but never down it, I don't think I'd want to descend it, not because it's difficult but because I think there are higher odds of poking my eye out.

 Adams Slide Trail.  Looking down it, it gets a little tougher to follow at times

 Adams Slide Trail.  This section of fifty feet or so had some trickling water on it.  I stayed to the right into the thick woods to not damage it.

 Another blaze, an arrow blaze. Interesting

 Adams Slide Trail.  Notice the faint paint on the rock.

 Faded blaze

Trail gets 'scratchy'  to extremely thick right before the alpine zone

 Adams Slide Trail, I see the light, getting there!

 Adams Slide Trail, still steep, not as defined

 Last section before you pop up in the middle of nowhere.

 Looking down at where you pop out.  The Trail comes up from the middle - bottom of this photo

 Knee of Mount Jefferson

 Ladder section of the Six Husband Trail is somewhere in the rocks in this pic

 Jefferson Ravine and Mount Jefferson.  A very wild and rugged place

 Adams Slide Trail.  The trail once breaking into the scrub heads right, then turns left up this rock were you are then greeted with...

 the following!  Notice the faint gaps between the branches, that's the trail.

 If you push the branches back when heading through the scrub tunnel you can spot a blaze or two on the boulders that try and trip you up!

 Jefferson Ravine

 Adams Slide Trail, again, notice the faint gaps between scrub.  That's the trail

 Great Gulf.  This was a decent sized cairn three years ago, topped with white quartz. now it's been whipped out by weather.

 Blaze under the scrub

Adams Slide Trail  heads up to the left of the rock on the top right.  Another blaze used to be where those small rocks are on the rock ledge,

 Adams Slide Trail, one of the few white quartz cairns left.

 Adams Slide Trail

 Adams Slide Trail heads up the boulder field on the eastern shoulder of Mont Adams

 Adams Slide Trail, notice the small white quartz rock.  Once again the cairns are smaller than before.

 Adams Slide Trail cairn

 That's me!

 Heading up the boulder field.  Lots of loose rocks, foot placement is key!

 The Great Gulf as seen from the Adams Slide Trail

 Adams Slide Trail cairn

 Mount Jefferson

 Jefferson ravine

 Kept seeing cairns, so I kept following them!

 Adams Slide Trail, last blaze I saw, notice the red paint on the rock.  Pretty cool stuff!

 Well above 5,000 feet at this point!

 Adams Slide Trail.  Once again these cairns where at least a foot high to two feet three years ago

 Adams Slide Trail.  Negotiating a tricky scrub and boulder section

 Adams Slide Trail, heading up to the summit

 Wildcat Ridge off in the distance

 One final scrub area to rock hop around before reaching the Star Lake Trail just below the summit.

 High above treeline

Approaching the Star Lake Trail

 Looking back down

 On the Star Lake Trail, looking down where I just came up

 Star Lake Trail

 Where the Adams Slide Trail goes, there is a small cairn in the pic  which is was taken from the Star Lake Trail.  This is the first cairn for the Adams Slide Trail.  It usually is not there for obvious reasons. To keep people from exploring.  Probably will be taken down by a ranger soon, so don't count on this to be there.

Adams Slide Trail route (estimate), notice the talus field at the bottom right, that is were the Buttress Trail takes a right and heads across


  1. Thanks Chris for posting this. What a super-terrific job of chronicling the trek up the abandoned Adams Slide Trail. I truly admire the types of hikes you do, and the way you report them.


  2. well done sir! great pics and well written.

  3. nice job on this post. Really appreciate the detail as I will be attempting this in the spring.

  4. Hey There - thanks for posting this ! Has anybody done this recently ? I’m looking to tackle the original Swann’s Traverse and am curious on the state of Adams Slide Trail at this point in time. I will likely do a “training hike” where I ascend AST after descending via Buttress , but still curious on the state of the vegetation and the general “ease” of wayfinding before I attempt it.

    1. I haven't been on the old abandoned trail since 2013 so my intel is really old. If you have bushwhacking experience you can at most points tell where the old trail went but it's not defined, once popping above treeline the vegetation can be tricky for a hundreds yards or so if you are unable to follow where the trail went, which is very hard to find. Once past the scrub part it's all odd sized boulders with some old cairns to follow. All of this might be moot at this point since it's been seven years. Definitely a good idea to scope it out like you are planning on doing. Enjoy the Adams Slide!