A Wilderness Hike in Indian Heaven

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Indian Heaven

Indian Heaven Wilderness, located southwest of Mt. Adams, is situated on a high plateau, averaging about 5,000 feet in elevation, with many open meadows and over 150 lakes. The area is famous for its huckleberry fields.

In early summer I parked at the East Crater Trailhead on the south side of the Wilderness. The temperature was a crisp 41 degrees with a gusty wind blowing, but thankfully the sun was shining.

The trail took off northwest through a mountain hemlock forest, with noble fir trees becoming more prevalent as elevation was gained. After 1 1/2 miles I began passing small ponds covered in floating grasses. Huckleberry bushes were covered in flowers, but not a berry in sight. In another couple of months the huckleberries will be at their prime in the higher elevations.

At the edge of one of the clearings I spotted a large white rump (Wapiti). I watched the cow elk feed for awhile before she finally picked up my scent. Then she was off to other places.

At 2 1/2 miles Junction Lake was reached, the first of many named lakes along the trail. I took a four-mile loop through large meadows and by multiple lakes. Lemei, Clear, Deer, Elk and many smaller lakes were passed.

All in all the hike was 9.5 miles in length with 1,500 feet of elevation gain. Indian Heaven remains one of the prettiest wilderness areas near Portland.

Inlet to Lemei Lake

Cow Elk feeding (white rump is a give away)

Marsh Marigold

Junction Lake

Old PCT sign

Avalanche Lily

Pond along the lower trail

Old trail sign

Cow Elk

Shooting Stars

My Jeep alone at the trailhead


Categories: Bucket List of Apine Hikes, Washington Cascades HikesTags: , ,


  1. Love those reflections! Sweet serenity.

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