The Indian Racetrack and a Red Cinder Cone too

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Indian Racetrack

It was a cold morning on the edge of the Indian Heaven Wilderness. It was the first weekend of fall with a chilly breeze out of the south.

Crimson huckleberry leaves and red vine maple foliage brightened the views in every direction. 

The 32 square-mile Wilderness has many large, open meadows to explore. In a couple of miles I was standing by a small lake at the north end of a huge, flat meadow. It was used by the tribes for centuries as a place to race horses until the 1920s. A beautiful spot indeed!

From the meadows it was a steep one-mile climb to the summit of Red Mountain, the remains of a cinder cone volcano. There was a rare, standing lookout site at the top. Ducking out of the heavy, cold wind gusts, I marveled at the views. They extended to Mt. Hood in the south to Mt. Rainier in the north.

I laid back, ate a snack and savored the vistas of the Indian Heaven Wilderness seemingly at my feet.

Indian Heaven remains one of the prettiest autumn areas near Portland.

Small pond at edge of the Indian Racetrack

Gray Jay

Red Mountain Lookout

Sub-alpine Daisy

Mt. Adams from Red Mountain

Cascade Frog hiding from me

Huckleberry leaves


Hazy view to the southeast from Red Mountain

Fall mushroom

Hazy Mt. Hood from Red Mountain

Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , ,


  1. Love the picture of the Gray Jay.

  2. Some of your best photos, John. Beautiful!

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