Indian Heaven Wilderness

September 2004: Overnight in the Indian Heaven Wilderness
click to enlarge   The Indian Heaven Wilderness is located in Southern Washington's Cascade Mountains. Here, dawn breaks over Blue Lake.
click to enlarge   The heart of this wilderness consists of a forested plateau at around 5000ft elevation.
click to enlarge   The area is home to a number of lakes and meadows. A complex network of trails passes many of the lakes, and provides ample opportunity for exploration.
click to enlarge   Yes, the lakes have fish... though actually catching one is a complicated matter. Here, an angler tries his luck at Deep Lake.
click to enlarge   Some of the northwest's most fruitful huckleberry fields are located in the Indian Heaven Wilderness. More easily accessible berry fields are located just north of the wilderness area along FS road #24. Thanks to the "handshake agreement" of 1932, the berries on the north side of the road are reserved for Indians only. The snow-capped peak of Mt. Adams provides a picturesque backdrop.

Where is it?
  The Indian Heaven Wilderness is located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The most popular access points are along Forest Service road #24, just north of the wilderness. A numer of other trailheads also dot the periphery of the wilderness.

Before you go...
  This pleasant hiking/backpacking area is relatively snow-free by early July. However, it is ideal habitat for hordes of mosquitoes. If you wish to keep your sanity, it's generally better to visit later in the summer, when the mosquitoes are gone and the berries are abundant.

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