By TOM LINDE
Mt. Adams Ranger District
Most trails on the westside of the Mt. Adams District have been logged out and are cleared now. As summer continues, we will be doing more brushing and other improvements to the trails.
Indian Heaven Wilderness trails are only recommended for experienced hikers due to the snow remaining, which makes hiking difficult.
One of my favorite hikes this time of year is the Silver Star trails. From this area there are great views of the Cascade volcanic peaks, and the wildflowers are probably the most spectacular on the forest.
On the eastside of the district, roads 8200, 820060 and 80020150 link Pineway and Snipes Mtn. trails to provide a good loop opportunity for mountain bikers.
All the campgrounds on the district are in full operation now and will be filling up quickly over the Fourth of July.
It is too late to make reservations, so the sites not reserved already will be first-come, first-serve. If you want a campsite for the weekend, plan on coming out early and check with us, as we may be able to help you find a site without a lot of running around.
Putting a chair in a site will not save it; all campsites must be occupied with people, not just camping gear.
Road 24 is finally open. Cultus is still snow-covered. Meadow Creek, Sawtooth Berryfields, Little Goose and Smokey Creek camps are open for camping.
For those wanting to get off the beaten path and willing to drive on gravel roads, road 41 is a great car tour route.
Starting at Sunset Campground, travel east on the 41 road until you reach the Wind River Work Center. This route will provide outstanding views of the Cascade volcanic peaks, Trout Creek, Washougal and East Fork of the Lewis River Valley drainages, as well as wildflower displays and opportunities or viewing wildlife.
Plan on half a day to get across this area including stops.
Deer and elk are through the peak periods of fawning and calving and are beginning to move their young around more.
Your chances of seeing these newborns is good, especially in the early mornings or late evenings.
Remember, do not disturb them and view from a distance. Never pick up or make the fawn or calf move from its hiding spot.
The early spring blooming flowers are about over, but the summer ones are coming on nicely now. Beargrass is blooming in the middle elevations and should last another couple of weeks.
A great place for wildflower enjoyment is the Lookout Mountain area. You can drive to the old 4th of July campground and be in a spectacular wildflower meadow.
Salmon fishing closed in the upper Wind River on Monday, June 30. Beginning July 1 the Wind River and all its tributaries are closed to all fishing above Shiperds Falls.
Salmon fishing is open in the Columbia River for spring chinook and will remain open until Aug. 1; then it will be open for all salmon and steelhead.
Trout fishing remains good in all the high lakes. Many of the lakes are just now accessible and should offer excellent fishing into late summer.
Takhlakh Lake is scheduled to be planted with trout in the near future.
Many people bring their guns when coming out to the forest and enjoy shooting them. There is nothing wrong with this as long as safety rules are followed.
You cannot shoot in any developed campground, across, from or along a road, across or into a body of water, or within 150 yards of any campsite.
This includes your own campsite. You should always check the area before shooting for other people and always make sure you have back drop.
With July 4 quickly approaching, everyone needs to remember that fireworks of any kind are not allowed on the National Forest.
This includes just possessing them, even if you are not going to set them off. So to be safe, just leave them at home when coming out to the forest.