[Wildflower Hikes of Mt. Adams: Hikes near Glenwood, WA]

Island Cabin Campground and Windholes Trail


Access: From the east end of Glenwood, WA (gas station, small motel, several small restaurants and small stores) proceed north on the paved Mt. Adams Highway. At the Yakima county line, the road becomes rough gravel for about 100 meters before reaching an intersection. Turn left at this intersection onto the paved K1000. Proceed about one and a half miles north before turning west (left) onto the gravel K5000. Several hundred meters up this road, there will be a road to the left which crosses Bird Creek. This currently is closed (spring of 2007) due to flood damage. Pass this road, then veer left onto K4000 which climbs gradually through open (thinned) coniferous forest. Pass the signed access road for Bird Creek Campground (DNR) and continue uphill several miles before turning left onto road K4200. If you cross a major creek on K4000, you've gone to far. Turn around and return about 100 meters to K4200. Continue on K4200 to the east part of the campground on Bird Creek. This portion of the campground contains a cabin which is used primarily by local ATV riders (and possibly in winter by local snowmobile drivers). A foot bridge crosses the creek to reach the main campground to the west. The western portion of the campground has several nice camping sites which are reached from the west by Road K3000 which is a very rugged road (famous for 'eating' auto tires). Camping on weekends, especially during major holidays is pretty noisy and crazy. Weekday camping should be pretty quiet.

Water: Carry plenty of bottled water. Water is found in Bird Creek throughout the year, but it is probably best to boil it, chemically purify it or filter it before human consumption.

Permits: No permits are needed at this time. For camping, register at the registration sign & fee drop. No fee for camping.

The windholes are a series of small lava tubes with small openings to the surface. The Windholes Trail departs from the west side of the Island Cabin Campground on the south shore of Bird Creek. The trail departs next to a large interpretive sign. The trail winds and weaves through the forest and soon reaches the first of several windholes. You may have to look for small side trails that lead to each windhole several to a dozen feet off the trail.

My old maps show that this trail continues westward, then proceeds south, crossing K3000 and proceeds through clear cuts and thinned forest before climbing to the top of King Mt. before descending to what is now Road #82 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. I've explored part of this trail, which is fairly evident at least for its first mile or so. I had to stop due to snow drifts present in mid-May. To be safe, if I wanted to follow the trail for a longer distance, I'd take a GPS and record a number of readings enroute so I could find my way back. Currently (2007) there is a lot of timber thinning in the area so the the upper portions of the trail to the south of K1000 could be pretty chewed up, making route finding difficult. The other problem with hiking in the area is that along with the soil disturbance due to thinning, the DNR (or timber companies) are spraying a lot of herbicides (to control unwanted shrubs?). These areas are well signed (that the herbicide is toxic) along the roads, but you might miss the signs walking on a trail or cross country!

Partial Plant Lists:

July 9, 2006: Island Cabin Campground

June 19, 2006: Island Cabin Campground

May 30, 2006: Island Cabin Campground

May 19, 2006: Island Cabin Campground (WA DNR CG on Bird Cr)

May 7, 2005: Rd K3000 from GPNF Rd 82 to Glenwood, WA - Plants not seen at points on the other lists on this page.

Paul Slichter