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Lake Wapiki Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Northeast shore of Lake Wapiki, Indian Heaven (bobcat)
Dwarf bramble (Rubus lasiococcus), Lemei Trail (bobcat)
Heather and south tarn, Lake Wapiki (bobcat)
Little Lake Wapiki (bobcat)
Lemei Trail to Lake Wapiki shown in red (bobcat)
  • Start point: Lemei TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Lake Wapiki
  • Trail Log:
  • Distance: 7.0 miles
  • Hike type: In and out
  • Elevation gain: 1625 feet
  • High Point: 5241 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes, for older kids
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: On summer weekends

Contents

Hike Description

The Lemei Trail rises gradually up the east slope of Lemei Rock, one of Indian Heaven’s several Pleistocene shield volcanoes. Nestled in Lemei Rock’s old crater is Lake Wapiki, a glassy expanse that invites a dip and explorations of its satellite tarns and heather meadows. Huckleberries form the understory almost every step of the way, and the best time to visit is late August into September, when the clouds of Wapiki’s voracious mosquitoes have waned and the berries are ripe for the plucking.

Cross the road and fill out a wilderness permit at the trailhead. The trail has a gentle incline on the bed of an old forest road. The forest here is composed of medium-sized Douglas-fir, western hemlock, red-cedar, silver fir, and an unusual number of western white pines. Pass a spring right on the trail and rise into the mountain hemlock zone. About a mile into the hike, in a western white pine clearing, you pass the Lemei-Filloon Trail Junction. The Filloon Trail #102 is about a mile long and leads to the Little Goose Campground and Horse Camp.

Enter the Indian Heaven Wilderness, drop a little before rising past a substantial Douglas-fir, and then switchback twice up a slope. Switchback again and then hike on the level through a small boggy area with white rhododendrons. The trail continues up in mountain hemlock, silver fir, and noble fir forest and veers left at the old junction to reach the new (2017) Lemei-Wapiki Lake Trail Junction, three miles from the trailhead.

The 0.4 mile spur heads up to Lake Wapiki through thickets of huckleberry and white rhododendron. There is no trail all around the lake, but paths lead to campsites on the first peninsula and others at the lake’s west shore. A couple of tarns are fringed with meadows blooming red and white heather, avalanche lilies, cinquefoil, and paintbrush in late July/early August. Bog blueberries will ripen in late summer. Just south of Lake Wapiki is the secluded pond of Little Wapiki. Above the lake, you can see the almost bare cinder slope of the crater traversed by the Lemei Trail as it continues to the interior of Indian Heaven (see the Lemei Rock via Lemei Trail Hike).


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails: Mt. Adams West, WA No. 366 and Lone Butte, WA No. 365
  • Indian Heaven (USFS)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Wilderness, Indian Heaven Wilderness, Trapper Creek Wilderness
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount St. Helens - Mt. Adams

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Self-issued wilderness permit at trailhead
  • $1 toll bridge each way at Hood River

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks by Tami Asars
  • Hiking Washington's Mount Adams Country by Fred Barstad
  • Washington's South Cascades' Volcanic Landscapes by Marge and Ted Mueller
  • 95 Virtual Hikes of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument by Northwest Hiker
  • 33 Hiking Trails: Southern Washington Cascades by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Exploring Washington's Wild Areas by Marge & Ted Mueller
  • Indian Heaven Back Country by Mel Hansen
  • Washington Hiking by Scott Leonard
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Megan McMorris

More Links


Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.