Backpack - Indian Heaven via Thomas Lake


Backpack - Indian Heaven via Thomas Lake

Preference to Tacoma Branch Introduction to Backpacking Students. Trip will open to all Mountaineers on May 1.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 18.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 to 2 mph

Meeting Place and Time:  2 places to meet with the times listed:   1.   8:30am to 9:30am at the Lone Fir Cafe in Cougar Washington.  I will be there by 8:30am for a late breakfast. If you choose to eat breakfast also please be there by 8:30am or you can also just meet me before 9:30am to just follow me.  The benefits of this is to follow me to a rather difficult to explain trailhead.   -OR-   2.  Thomas Lake Trailhead to Indian Heaven  at 10:30am.

PASS REQUIRED: Northwest Forest Pass or American the Beautiful or National Park Senior Pass needed to park. 

***Leader's Permission Required.  If an individual signs up without obtaining permission they will be cancelled from the trip.  Those in Tacoma Branch Introduction to Backpacking course can contact leader for permission starting 6:30pm 3/27/2023.  Those not in the course can contact the leader for permission starting on 5/1/2023.  Any request prior to these dates/times will not be accepted.***

Preference to Tacoma Branch Introduction to Backpacking Students until 5/1/2023.

Trip Description in General:  If you love wild blueberries and huckleberries this is the trip for you!  Both are all over this area this time of year.  On Friday we will hike in about 3 miles and set up camp around Junction Lake.  I hope we get my favorite campsite but there are no guarantees.  There will be an optional hike after lunch this day if anyone wishes just to explore this gorgeous area a little more.  Those who wish not to go should stay around Junction Lake.  On Saturday, the middle day, we will do a MANDITORY loop hike with a few branches for about 7 miles to explore 6 or more other lakes.  We will take time and enjoy the beauty of the lakes; we may swim in one or two lakes if the weather allows.   Sunday we will just hike out.


Indian Heaven via Thomas Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

To be discussed at lecture for Introduction to Backpacking course students.

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 Ursack 
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports