Indian Heaven north loop

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drm
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Indian Heaven north loop

Post by drm » October 10th, 2017, 12:56 pm

After the Forest Service reopened most of Indian Heaven about a week ago, I decided I needed to fix my Indian Heaven deficit for the year. I drove up and car camped in Cultus Creek Forest Camp and did a dayhike of the northern loop the next day, including a spur over to Lemei Rocks and the Lake Wapiki viewpoint. The normal loop is longer, but the southern section goes through the closure. But with the spur it was still over 10 miles. Colors at Indian Heaven are still far from peak, but since my route traversed the highest trails there, I got some good Fall color up high. Most of the best color here are from the Lemei trail between it's junction with the 33 trail and Lemei Rocks, sll of which is above 5000 feet.

It was barely above freezing when I headed out at 9am, but the hike up the Cultus Creek trail starts with a steep uphill, gaining 1200 feet in 1.5 miles, good for warming up.

A little color to start me off
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I turned left on the Pacific Crest Trail at about 5000 feet and there was lots of frost
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Clear Lake
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Classic Indian Heaven pocket meadow
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After a few junctions and turns I was on the Lemei Trail heading torwards Lemei Rocks, the highest point in Indian Heaven. The trail turned icy.
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Now ice and color with Lemei Rocks in the distance
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More meadows
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The forbidding back side of Lemei Rocks
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Lemei Rocks
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I continued a few hundred yards to the viewpoint over Lake Wapiki
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Great view of Mt Adams too
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It was breezy and chilly there so I went back to the rocks for a leisurely and (relatively) warm lunch break
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More color
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Mt. Rainier
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Mt. Saint Helens
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Yet more color
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Frozen puddle
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Deep Lake
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Deep Lake is the only lake in Indian Heaven where you can see a large mountain as well
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Pond scene
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Descending the Indian Heaven Trail, there are more views. This one of Mt. Adams also includes one of the most representative views of Sleeping Beauty in front and below, the reason how it got it's name, lying on her back.
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VanMarmot
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Re: Indian Heaven north loop

Post by VanMarmot » October 10th, 2017, 5:55 pm

Beautiful photos. I do miss Indian Heaven.
Boots on the Trail (vanmarmot.org)

bushwhacker
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Re: Indian Heaven north loop

Post by bushwhacker » October 11th, 2017, 6:50 am

I think we may have crossed paths up on the PCT if that was you in the red/maroon coat. At first I thought it was Brad Pitt but now I am thinking it was DRM. Sorry we didn't stop and chat but you seemed like a man on a mission. And yeah the Cultus Creek trail is a lot of up in a short span.

I did the Cultus loop also but started over at Placid Lake. I am calling it the Bird Mountain loop.
Bird Mountain loop.jpg
Glad I got in another Indian Heaven hike before the snow flies (and if I am not mistaken deer hunting season starts this weekend over in Washington).

Placid Lake:
IMG_0395b.jpg
Great fall colors:
IMG_0404b.jpg

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drm
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Re: Indian Heaven north loop

Post by drm » October 11th, 2017, 3:55 pm

bushwhacker wrote:Sorry we didn't stop and chat but you seemed like a man on a mission.
A mission to stay warm. You were the hiker on the PCT? Kept heading south towards Bear Lake when I turned east on the Indian Heaven trail?

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romann
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Re: Indian Heaven north loop

Post by romann » October 11th, 2017, 8:40 pm

Great pictures - really nice fall colors! Indian Heaven is beautiful this time of year.

Looks like you did it just before the big snow storm - may or may not melt before winter. Was likely snowing today all day, too. I wanted to go this coming weekend to see colors there, but looks like that will be snowshoeing instead ;)
TonightSnow showers likely. ......... Total nighttime snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches.
ThursdaySnow showers. High near 33. ......... New snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches.
Thursday NightSnow showers. Low around 28. ....... New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches.

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drm
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Re: Indian Heaven north loop

Post by drm » October 12th, 2017, 5:48 am

romann wrote:Looks like you did it just before the big snow storm - may or may not melt before winter.
But it's supposed to be sunny and warm this weekend. If you can wait till Sunday or Monday, I would be more inclined to head to the lower altitude western or southern trailheads and skip the Lemei / Deep Lake area for a visit now. I probably did get the timing exactly right.

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