Trail of the Month: Indian Heaven Trail No. 33

Packed with glassy lakes, serene meadows, and alpine vistas, Southwest Washington’s Indian Heaven Wilderness is indeed divine.

By Brian Barker September 26, 2014 Published in the October 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

WHY IT’S GREAT: Each autumn, golden-needled larch trees and huckleberry bushes glow like oven burners along Southwest Washington’s Indian Heaven Wilderness. From Cultus Creek Campground north of Trout Lake, Indian Heaven Trail no. 33 provides quick access to the bounty. A short but steep 1.4-mile climb exits thick forest to reveal Mount Adams reigning over an evergreen kingdom lit by torch-bright larches. Just around a nearby bend, quiet Cultus Lake looks upon craggy Lemei Rock—at 5,925 feet, the highest point in Indian Heaven. Nimble-legged hikers can continue on a 2.2-mile, huckleberry-lined trek toward the crumbly flank and a vista of Rainier and St. Helens, as well as Lake Wapiki. For rapture on demand, detour from Cultus on a signed short spur to Deep Lake, which sits in a secluded, fir-encircled basin crowned by snow-robed Mount Adams (top left). Northwest Forest Pass required 

POST-HIKE WATERING HOLE: Everybody may be brewing these days, but not many do it better than Everybody’s Brewing in Washington’s riverside burg of White Salmon. Grab a Country Boy IPA and head for the patio to soak in a killer view of Mount Hood. Don’t miss the sweet potato fries. 509-637-2774

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