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Red Mountain Add-on Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Red Mountain Lookout (bobcat)
Mt. St. Helens from Red Mountain (bobcat)
Mt. Rainier, Berry Mt., East Crater, Sleeping Beauty, Mt. Adams from Red Mountain (bobcat)
Route to Red Mountain shown in green (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo



This short add-on hike is done from the Indian Racetrack in the Indian Heaven Wilderness. The mountain is red. It was originally a shield volcano that spewed lava up to 170,000 years ago, but a few thousand years later cinder cones developed along its flanks and gave the mountain its current shape. The views range up the spine of Indian Heaven to Rainier, Adams, and St. Helens as well as south to the Oregon Cascades. The lookout here, the last in the Mt. Adams Ranger District, was severely damaged in a windstorm in December 2006 and was repaired over the next four years. You cannot enter the lookout (unless someone lets you in) and the road to the lookout is closed to the public to prevent vandalism.

From the Indian Racetrack-Racetrack Shortcut Trail Junction in the Racetrack Meadow, head south into mountain hemlock/silver fir woods, soon passing an interesting four-trunked silver fir and then a very large tree of the same species. There’s a short, steep section and then a level traverse. The trail hooks to the right up a pumice slope with great views back to snow-covered Mount Adams. Juniper and pinemat manzanita as well as lodgepole pine, mountain hemlock, noble fir and western white pine grow here. Pass a wilderness sign and head very steeply up the pumice to Road 6048 and a wilderness permit box. Go right on the road, which switchbacks up to the Red Mountain Lookout. The views from here are spectacular: Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens and the spine of Indian Heaven from Berry Mountain to Bird Mountain and Lemei Rock.

Return the way you came to the junction in the Indian Racetrack Meadow and thence back to your trailhead.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Self-issued wilderness permit
  • No entry to the lookout cabin


  • 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

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • Skamania 231: A Scrambler's Guide by Kelly Wagner
  • Washington's South Cascades Volcanic Landscapes by Marge & Ted Mueller
  • 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

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.