We took a bit of a circuitous route this past Saturday (October 2, 2021) from Wahtum Lake to visit Indian Mountain and Tomlike Mountain.
Starting from Wahtum Lake Camp, we took the Wahtum Horse Trail the short distance to the PCT and took a left. From here, the PCT climbs gently for about 3 miles to the Indian Springs Campground and then a bit over a quarter of a mile beyond that to the junction with the Indian Mountain Trail. There are great views here of Mts. Hood, Jefferson, Rainier, and St. Helens. Turning left and heading up the Indian Mountain trail, we climbed about another mile and half to the summit, encountering several blowdowns on the upper part off the trail. While not as extensive as the views from the junction with the PCT, the mostly open summit offers great views of Mt Hood.
Retracing our steps back to the PCT, we turned back north on the PCT and back to the Indian Springs Campground. Here, we crossed the parking lot and headed down the Indian Springs trail, the entrance of which is marked by cairns. The Indian Springs trail drops relatively steeply over 2 miles to the Eagle Creek Trail. The trail is in good shape, even in sections in the burned area.
At the Eagle Creek Trail, we turned right on the well-graded trail, climbing steadily for 3.7 miles to the Chinidere Cutoff Trail. Just after the junction, the cutoff trail crosses the outflow from Wahtum Lake on a logjam and then climbs very steeply to the PCT. At the PCT, we took a right and continued for a short distance before turning left onto the Herman Creek Trail. Taking this for a little under a mile and just past the Anthill Trail, we turned off onto the trail to Tomlike Mountain. That trail is mostly easy to follow and includes a short scramble up a talus field before a final steep climb to the top. Views were spectacular from the summit.
Heading back to the Herman Creek trail, we made a quick left onto the Anthill Trail and took this the 1.9 miles back to Wahtum Lake Camp. Total distance was just about 17 miles.
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Many thanks for this report. Glad to see that the Indian Springs Trail is back in commission, probably thanks to the PCTA.