The Forest Service reopened most of Indian Heaven about a week ago as wet conditions put the limit on the East Crater fire. A small area was still closed near East Crater, but I decided I needed to fix my Indian Heaven deficit for the year. I drove up and car camped in Cultus Creek Forest Camp and did a dayhike of the northern loop the next day, including a spur over to Lemei Rocks and the Lake Wapiki viewpoint. The normal loop is longer, but the southern section goes through the closure. But with the spur it was still over 10 miles. Indian Heaven isn't known for long distance views, but my route took in the highest trails there, so I had some.
It was barely above freezing when I headed out at 9am, but the hike up the Cultus Creek trail starts with a steep uphill, gaining 1200 feet in 1.5 miles, good for warming up.
A little color to start me off
I turned left on the Pacific Crest Trail at about 5000 feet and there was lots of frost
Classic Indian Heaven pocket meadow
After a few junctions and turns I was on the Lemei Trail heading torwards Lemei Rocks, the highest point in Indian Heaven. The trail turned icy.
Now ice and color with Lemei Rocks in the distance
The forbidding back side of Lemei Rocks
I continued a few hundred yards to the viewpoint over Lake Wapiki
Great view of Mt Adams too
It was breezy and chilly there so I went back to the rocks for a leisurely and (relatively) warm lunch break
Mt. Saint Helens
Yet more color
Deep Lake is the only lake in Indian Heaven where you can see a large mountain as well
Descending the Indian Heaven Trail, there are more views. This one of Mt. Adams also includes one of the most representative views of Sleeping Beauty in front and below, the reason how it got it's name, lying on her back.