This paper analyzes the benefit of adaptive routing based on knowledge of the channel state information in multihop, ad hoc wireless networks that use direct-sequence code-division multiple access. Cross-layer, channel-adaptive routing exploits the inherent spatial diversity of multihop wireless networks to select links with favorable channel conditions. The information efficiency, an extension of a previously used measure called expected progress, is used to evaluate performance. Results show that, combined with adaptive modulation, adaptive routing can improve performance in ad hoc networks by a factor of four to five in channels with Rayleigh fading and lognormal shadowing. The lack of position information in the routing decision would reduce performance by 25%. New approaches to channel-adaptive routing that enable rapid adaptivity to channel conditions are discussed.