I enjoyed a wonderful day of solitude (unless we count the thousands of buzzing and hungry mosquitoes) in the Indian Heaven Wilderness. It was the last weekend of July with nary a cloud in the sky.
I began the hike at the Thomas Lake Trailhead on the west side of Indian Heaven. The 32 square-mile Wilderness lies between Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens. It contains over 150 lakes and has many large, open meadows to explore.
After hiking several miles to the east, while passing multiple lakes, I followed a faint path across the meadows to Junction Lake and the Pacific Crest Trail. From there it was a relatively easy hike southerly to Blue Lake located below Gifford Peak.
After finding a nice spot in the sunshine amd applying some more skeet repellent, I laid back, ate a snack and marveled at the deep blue color of the lake. Reluctantly, I put my daypack on and savored every inch of the loop trail returning to the Trailhead.
Indian Heaven remains one of the prettiest areas near Portland, but autumn is a much better time to visit.