(Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

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airdrum
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(Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by airdrum » July 21st, 2010, 4:41 pm

I'm posting this quick glimpse with the hope that someone can get up there soon and do some more exploring.

For my job, I sometimes am tasked with placing wildlife tracking cameras in remote locations. I decided to place one in the Basin Lakes area in Indian Heaven, which provided me to do a bit of exploration of the abandoned basin lakes trail. Not sure why or when the USFS abandoned the trail but it does not show up on new topos of the area. It still shows up on the older 1984 quads that most places, like ph.org uses.

I initially went cross country from the Indian Racetrack to the middle of the basin lakes, I did not find the trail here and I had the old alignment in the lakes area on my GPS, but I wasn't able to track it down.

However on my hike back to the car I stumbled right upon it, and I am happy to say it is great shape. I wish that I had enough time to turn around and follow it back to the lakes (and maybe the PCT) but I had to follow it to the car, an exploration for another day.
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From the Wilderness sign/registration
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basin map.jpg
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Good Shape
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Great Shape!
Andy

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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by justpeachy » July 21st, 2010, 5:43 pm

I posted a query about this trail last year. You can see people's responses here.
Cheryl

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airdrum
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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by airdrum » July 21st, 2010, 6:49 pm

Hey Cheryl, yes I did a search and read up on that report before I went. I wasn't sure what I was going to find because the reviews were a mixed bag. I think finding the trail on berry ridge where it connects with the PCT might be quite challenging
Andy

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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by BigBear » July 30th, 2010, 2:02 pm

Airdrum: I saw your picture of the two trails at the Falls Creek TH. I think they are both Indian Racetrack. I visited the Indian Racetrack trail a couple of years ago and found that it had been re-routed since I had first hike it in the late 80s.

From the Berry Mountain side, the Basin Lakes Trail was a game trail in the late 80s and I don't believe it was even visible the last time I hiked Berry Mountain.

If you're truly interested in seeing more of Indain heaven, go the the W.O. Douglas Wilderness (east of Rainier). I was surprised how much it resembled Indian Heaven. And, the WOD is bigger.

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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by drm » August 6th, 2010, 7:34 am

I've been intrigued by reports like this one and the ones about the older version of the PCT and want to do some exploring. But I will wait till later, not only because of mosquitoes, but also so that the area can dry out. I'm thinking of trying a loop around the new and old PCT, and will see if I can work this route in some way.

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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by Grannyhiker » August 6th, 2010, 8:49 am

IMHO, best time is when blueberries are ripe! However, avoid the place on Labor Day weekend because it's very crowded.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

HenryG
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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by HenryG » September 15th, 2010, 11:23 am

I have been hiking Indian Heaven since the lat 70's. I first tried to get into the Darlene Lakes (ie Basin Lakes) in the late 80's I was camped at Blue lake and the trail dropping off the PCT at the saddle between Gifford Peak and Berry Mt was pretty obvious and it dropped steeply in a few switchbacks. The first time I made one small lake, but the second time (a year or two later) I lost the trail in a sever blowdown. Rather than get disoriented I backed out.

Last year at the library I found a copy of the old trail guide by Mel (???) called Indian Heaven Trails (??). He had a rough map of the trail into Darlene Lakes. I followed the trail in last July and visited four of the lakes. All were relatively shallow and swampy and of little interest to me (love swimming). The trail cuts left off the Indian Racetrack trail just about where the two legs of the trail coming from 65 road meet as shown in the photo above. The trail has received some use lately (I picked up a half full aresol can of OFF that was pristine and still worked) and was easy to follow. There were a couple of small blowdowns that had to be skirted with care to ensure picking up the trail on the other side. Some pink flagging had been tied but at least one time it lead me to a dead end. Any way, I got in and out easily enough

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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by Stevefromdodge » September 15th, 2010, 2:21 pm

Thanks for the report Henry and welcome to the site.

It looks like there are quite a few abandoned trails in Indian Heaven.

HenryG
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Re: (Abandoned) Basin Lakes Trail - Indian Heaven - 7/16/10

Post by HenryG » September 16th, 2010, 8:19 am

You're welcome and I just remembered Mel Hanson's book "Indian Heaven Backcountry" If you want to explore old trails it's a good guide. Published in the early 70's. Has any one used a route from Blue Lake past Tombstone Lake emerging on a Forest Rd. NE of Forlorn Lakes ??? In the late 80's while camped at Blue Lake, a guy with two 9 - 12 year olds came in that way and said he used it often. I once tried to follow it out, but some distance beyond Tombstone it was getting faint and so was the light so I turned around. I have poked around roads NE of Forlorn Lakes but never saw anything.

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