Thinking that it has been a very dry spring, I drove to the Indian Heaven Wilderness. The area is situated on a high plateau, averaging about 5,000 feet in elevation, with many open meadows and over 150 lakes.
Parking at the East Crater Trailhead on the southeast side of the Wilderness, I began hiking northwest through a mountain hemlock forest, with noble fir trees becoming more prevalent as I gained elevation. After one mile I began running into snow on the trail and soon began passing small ponds covered in ice.
Post-holing through snow for another hour I arrived at Junction Lake. It was a beautiful sight with the snow highlighting the southern shore of the large lake. And, to my surprise, most of the snow was melted in the open meadows on the north side of the lake.
After exploring for awhile I headed back to the trailhead. In another month I’ll return and expand my hike to two pretty loops by multiple lakes. I might even see an elk or two.