Indian Heaven via Thomas Lake


Backpack - Indian Heaven via Thomas Lake

Experience the most beautiful area of the Cascades, with the most alpine lakes and the most huckleberries, missing both the bugs and the Labor Day weekend crowds, camping two nights at picturesque Junction Lake and doing an optional easy loop day hike on Saturday past eight other beautiful lakes, at one of which we'll stop for a swim if the weather permits.

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  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 900 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,100 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 10 AM Friday at the Lone Fir Cafe in Cougar, reached by driving south on I-5 and then east in Woodland on SR 503.

At the Lone Fir Cafe, we'll have an early hot lunch to fuel up for the later hike to our campsite.  Then we'll caravan for an hour to the Thomas Lake trailhead, by turning left (east) onto SR 503, which soon becomes FR 90, turning right onto the Curly Creek Road, left at FR 30, right on FR 6507, left on FR 65 and right into the Thomas Lake trailhead parking lot, where each car must display either the Northwest Forest Pass or National Park Pass.  The four mile hike into our campsite at Junction Lake will take us by seven other beautiful alpine lakes.

No streams will be flowing at this time of the year, so we will need to filter water from Junction Lake.  Odor emitting substances will need to either be hung from a tree limb or secured in a bear canister at night and while we are away from camp.

On Saturday we'll have an optional loop day hike past eight alpine lakes that will involve  7.2 miles and 500 feet elevation gain not included in the distance and gain advertised for the trip.  On this day hike, we'll have a trail lunch at whatever lake we are closest to at Noon and then take time for a swim, if the weather permits.

Our camp meals will include Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast.  After Sunday breakfast, we'll hike out and drive back to Cougar, where we'll have lunch again at the Lone Fir Cafe, before driving home.  If traffic permits, we'll be home before dinner time.








Indian Heaven via Thomas Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
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