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I drove to the Indian Heaven Wilderness, located southwest of Mt. Adams, on an early September day. The Wilderness 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. And, it’s infamous for the mosquitos during the summer. Thankfully, I didn’t run into any of those nasty skeets.
After parking at the East Crater Trailhead on the south 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 1 1/2 miles I began passing small ponds covered in floating grasses. Huckleberry bushes were everywhere and many berries were ripe for the picking.
At 2 1/2 miles I hit the Pacific Crest Trail and soon reached scenic Junction Lake.
As I learned many years ago, the area is a much more pleasant place to visit when the skeets are gone. It remains one of the most enjoyable wildernesses near Portland.
Old PCT signs