Indian Heaven - Bugs, Berries, Bathing

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
Posts: 37
Joined: February 10th, 2018, 8:19 pm

Indian Heaven - Bugs, Berries, Bathing

Post by Thuja » August 12th, 2018, 1:36 pm

(no pictures, sorry...)

First time to Indian Heaven for a friend and me, we decided to hike in from Thomas Lake TH Friday morning before the crowds arrive, and hike/camp as we please until Sunday morning. I can see why "heaven" is a proper name for this place, wow! Droopy twisted mountain hemlock dappled among grassy fragrant meadows of every shade of green. Everything that is not hemlock or meadow seems to be covered by a dwarf kind of huckleberry with a flavor to beat them all. This morning, when an mysterious fog swept across the tree tops as we hiked back to the car, the diffuse light made the dew-dappled huckleberry bushes almost ultraviolet and glowing.

Bugs: lots of mosquitos from trailhead to almost Blue Lake, where there was a constant wind and no bugs at all.
Some annoying biting flies along the PCT from near Blue lake to Deer Lake, then hardly any bugs at all from Clear Lake to Lemei Rock, even in the evening. Also very few bugs around East Crater.
Lakes: swimming in every lake was fabulous!
Berries: While tempted to report berries as horrible, to keep the crowds at bay, they were honestly the highlight of our trip. The taller, smaller huckleberries are nothing compared to these low-growing plump nuggets of sweet, sweet goodness. Lots of them are ripe right now, some are still ripening. Well enough for birds, bears, and humans!

Edit to add: I have a low clearance vehicle. Following Forest Service recommendation, I drove Wind River Hwy, staying straight at the Curly Creek Rd junction, then right at 6507, which is a pretty good gravel road. Stayed on this for a few miles, then turned left when reaching 65 to get to Thomas Lake TH. Apparently 65 is washed out south of this point and only passable by high-clearance vehicles.

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 1356
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Indian Heaven - Bugs, Berries, Bathing

Post by Chip Down » August 14th, 2018, 6:52 pm

I love a TR with alliteration! :D

Posts: 1
Joined: August 21st, 2018, 11:06 am

Re: Indian Heaven - Bugs, Berries, Bathing

Post by portlando » August 21st, 2018, 1:42 pm

Hey Thuja, great report! wondering where you found out about the washout? Heading up there this weekend.

Posts: 963
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Indian Heaven - Bugs, Berries, Bathing

Post by Webfoot » August 21st, 2018, 4:53 pm

I don't know how Thuja found out but there's this: ... conditions
6/12/2018: Open. NOTE: Rd. 65. has some flood damage just past Falls Cr. Falls Horsecamp. Access to Thomas Lake TH is passable by a higher clearance vehicle (Ex. Subaru or higher) otherwise access via Rd. 6507.

Posts: 10
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 6:20 pm

Re: Indian Heaven - Bugs, Berries, Bathing

Post by Mikeph4 » August 21st, 2018, 6:03 pm

It's possible by most average height vehicles. I made it through with ease in my 2000 Crown Victoria. Other cars with lower clearance do okay. But don't count on it if you're not sure. The road was reshaped by some folks since I last drove through when there was still snow up here, just before summer had started.

Post Reply