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Indian Racetrack Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Indian Race Track / Kalama'T (Martell)
Admirable bolete (Boletus mirabilis), Racetrack Trail (bobcat)
Racetrack Lake (bobcat)
Berry "skirts", Racetrack Meadow (bobcat)
Route to the Race Track shown in red (bobcat)


Hike Description

This hike begins with a short climb and then levels out in a meadow area at a shallow lake near the site of Indian Racetrack. The hike is mostly wooded until you get close to the lakes. The trail is well maintained, with just a few rocky sections. In the fall, the colored foliage, especially the berry skirts around the meadow, makes it a good time of year to visit.

Walk across FR 65 to the trail, which passes a camp site on that side of the road. These are silver fir, mountain hemlock, noble fir, Douglas-fir woods with a huckleberry understory. Pass through a small meadow with a few cottonwoods towering above. Reach the junction with the Race Track Trail #171 and the wilderness permit box. Fifteen yards beyond the permit box is an unsigned fork in the trail at the Indian Racetrack-Gifford Peak Way Junction. Go right here and cross Falls Creek on a log and handrail bridge and head steeply up, passing the entrance sign to the Indian Heaven Wilderness. Here there are silver fir with some Engelmann spruce and western white pine. The trail levels in mountain hemlock/silver fir woods. Then ascend a slope, walk on the level, and then rise again. The trail is quite eroded in places, becoming a rocky gully at times. The path flattens in mountain hemlock/lodgepole pine woods with some noble fir and western white pine. Gradually descend through mountain hemlocks and pass by a small huckleberry meadow. Then rise again in silver fir forest to drop down and skirt a large pool, the Racetrack Lake and enter the Racetrack Meadow. The trail heads around to the Indian Racetrack-Racetrack Shortcut Trail Junction. Going left takes you to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Go right to a sign proclaiming the Kalama'T Indian Racetrack and from here look left to another sign which indicates the continuation of Trail #171 up the hill to the lookout on nearby Red Mountain (see the Red Mountain Add-on Hike). Note that the long straight track leading through the meadow to the west is a dead end. Huckleberries, especially bog blueberries, ripen all around the edges of the meadow in late summer. By early fall, the Racetrack Lake may be bone dry.


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Wind River, WA #397
  • 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

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks by Tami Asars
  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • Hiking Washington's Mount Adams Country by Fred Barstad
  • 33 Hiking Trails: Southern Washington Cascades by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Indian Heaven Back Country by Mel Hansen
  • Day Hiking: South Cascades by Dan A. Nelson & Alan L. Bauer
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • Exploring Washington's Wild Areas by Marge & Ted Mueller
  • Washington's Columbia River Gorge: Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Scott Leonard
  • Washington Hikes by Scott Leonard
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Megan McMorris
  • Hiking the Gifford Pinchot Backcountry by the Columbia Group Sierra Club

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.