Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

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Don Nelsen
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Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by Don Nelsen » November 3rd, 2020, 8:56 pm

I wonder if any one person has been to all the lakes in Indian Heaven? Just counting the ones on the map, I come up with about 240, and there’s a few more, maybe many more, not on the map or that are ephemeral. I might take a stab at visiting all of the named ones, next year, though.

This was Kelly’s birthday hike, postponed a couple of weeks on account of weather and when the restaurant (Trout Lake Country Inn) is open in Trout Lake, and she insisted on a hike that didn’t involve any rocks or off-trail. Heck, I couldn’t even find a tree on the trail for her to climb over! A change from the past month or so, to be sure.

It was another frosty morning in Trout Lake but the temperature quickly rose above freezing and got as high as 50 on the trail as we wandered about. The ground was still very cold, though, and frost lingered in shady spots all day. A little wind, now and then, but basically a perfect day.

We started out on the East Crater trail and got most of the EG over in the first 2 ½ miles or so, up to Junction Lake. After a short cookie break, the rest of the hike went through delightful meadows, and past some of the best lake views in Indian Heaven. I know this won’t last, but I’m sure liking this November weather!

The red in the fall colors has faded but the yellows are still out in force. Especially the larch along the roads in the area:
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Junction Lake:
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Small pools in the shade were solidly frozen. Lemei rock in the distance:
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Typical meadow views:
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Lemei Lake:
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Clear lake:
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Bear Lake:
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We spotted this old PCT sign near Junction Lake. I haven't seen one like this in many years:
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As we got back to Trout Lake, Mt. Adams illuminated by the soon-to-set sun:
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Closer:
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The map:
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9.3 miles, 1250 EG
Last edited by Don Nelsen on November 4th, 2020, 12:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Bosterson
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Re: Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by Bosterson » November 3rd, 2020, 9:05 pm

Nice little romp, DN. I think the nice weather stopped lasting today. ;) Clear Lake looks mostly frozen, but the others seem like normal - how frozen over was it so far? I assume that water in the trail was ice. Makes me think of my late October trip last year where the whole pond and meadow at the Racetrack was just one big lake topped with about an inch of ice!
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JustSomeHiker
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Re: Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by JustSomeHiker » November 3rd, 2020, 10:03 pm

Just FYI the shot you have labeled as "Clear Lake" is actually Lemei Lake.

I also happened to be hiking Indian Heaven at the same time as you- I did the same little loop around the core of Indian Heaven- but I came in via Thomas Lake Trailhead.

We really got lucky with the warm temps and clear skies on Monday. I had hiked in last week via East Crater and the wind was howling, temps were in the upper 30s, and it was overcast/foggy all day- definitely not the best weather to enjoy Indian Heaven.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by Don Nelsen » November 3rd, 2020, 10:31 pm

JustSomeHiker wrote:
November 3rd, 2020, 10:03 pm
Just FYI the shot you have labeled as "Clear Lake" is actually Lemei Lake.

I also happened to be hiking Indian Heaven at the same time as you- I did the same little loop around the core of Indian Heaven- but I came in via Thomas Lake Trailhead.

We really got lucky with the warm temps and clear skies on Monday. I had hiked in last week via East Crater and the wind was howling, temps were in the upper 30s, and it was overcast/foggy all day- definitely not the best weather to enjoy Indian Heaven.
Oops! You are correct. I mislabeled that one. I'll correct it and add the Clear lake shot. Thanks!
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by Don Nelsen » November 3rd, 2020, 10:38 pm

Bosterson wrote:
November 3rd, 2020, 9:05 pm
Nice little romp, DN. I think the nice weather stopped lasting today. ;) Clear Lake looks mostly frozen, but the others seem like normal - how frozen over was it so far? I assume that water in the trail was ice. Makes me think of my late October trip last year where the whole pond and meadow at the Racetrack was just one big lake topped with about an inch of ice!
Thanks for the comment Nat. I made an error naming Lemei Lake as Clear Lake. The correct photos are up now. Lemei Lake was frozen in the shaded area but mostly open where the sun was hitting it. Clear lake must be deeper and is nearly all open water still.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Chip Down
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Re: Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by Chip Down » November 4th, 2020, 4:58 pm

Water is the essential characteristic of IH. Not just the lakes, but the way it floods, the seasonal creeks, the marshy spots, and, of course, the way snow/ice interacts with all of it. IH is best visited in late spring or early summer. By the time it dries out (say, late summer) it's not nearly as interesting.

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poppacouch
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Re: Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by poppacouch » November 4th, 2020, 5:07 pm

Chip Down wrote:
November 4th, 2020, 4:58 pm
IH is best visited in late spring or early summer. By the time it dries out (say, late summer) it's not nearly as interesting.
But... the mosquitos!!!??

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Chip Down
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Re: Indian Heaven lake loop: Junction, Lemei, Clear, Dear and Bear Lakes. (and a few smaller ones.) Nov 2nd, 2020

Post by Chip Down » November 4th, 2020, 8:41 pm

poppacouch wrote:
November 4th, 2020, 5:07 pm
Chip Down wrote:
November 4th, 2020, 4:58 pm
IH is best visited in late spring or early summer. By the time it dries out (say, late summer) it's not nearly as interesting.
But... the mosquitos!!!??
Ah, interesting, I actually started to write something about that. It's been my experience that IH is at its best just before the bugs come out in force. There's probably about three or four days when it's the perfect balance. :lol:

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