Fall Hiking in Indian Heaven

We just got back from a long-anticipated Fall trip to Indian Heaven in Southwest Washington. Ever since we moved to Tacoma I’ve tried to arrange a Fall trip to Indian Heaven but haven’t been able to put it together until Leslie finally retired. It was well worth the wait as the weather proved perfect for hiking.

Although it seems like a long ways away, it was only a 3 1/2 drive to Indian Heaven, where we were greeted by this view of Mt. Adams,

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looking as if it was looking forward to a new winter coat of snow.

We had to climb nearly 800 feet higher to glimpse the top of Mt Rainier nearly a hundred miles to the north.

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It’s really much higher than Sawtooth Mt, though it didn’t necessarily feel that way when we hiked up to Sawtooth two days later.

I wondered if I had overestimated my conditioning as we looked up the ridge

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where the trail led.

No matter, despite some pain, I knew the beauty awaited us at the top.

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It’s called Indian Heaven for a good reason, at least in the Fall when the huckleberries started to change color and the frosts have finally killed off most of the mosquitoes.

As it turned out, we ended up hiking nearly 12 miles on Monday. Not unexpectedly, the hardest part — though my heart rate suggested otherwise — was the downhill. I had to stop half way down the mountain to take a pain pill my knees were protesting so loudly.

I suspect I must have been in a little better shape 12 years ago when I hiked this quite regularly. At the end of the hike we decided to drive down to Hood River and tour the fruit stands and Wineries the next day and save our 2nd hike for Wednesday, not Tuesday.

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