Indian Heaven via Cultus Creek

A hike or backpack along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the storied Indian Heaven Wilderness, one of the most beautiful and scenic wilderness areas of Washington. This area has an abundance of seasonal huckleberries and numerous lakes, and provides a few day hiking and backpacking options that start at Cultus Creek, the northeast entrance to the Indian Heaven.

Getting There

Drive SR-141 23.5 miles north from White Salmon (SR-141 is West Jewett Boulevard in town) to Trout Lake. Continue though Trout Lake on SR-141 to a fork where the highway bends south. Take the right fork, pass a road branching to the right, and then turn right onto Trout Lake Creek Road. Drive 1.3 miles, turn onto a unnamed road, continue for 2.2 miles, turn left onto Forest Road 091, and drive 1.5 miles. Forest Road 091 becomes Forest Road 8821 at a fork. Bear left and drive 1.7 miles to the junction with Forest Road 24 (Twin Buttes Road). Turn right onto Forest Road 24 and drive ~14 miles past Little Goose Campground to Cultus Creek Campground and trailhead (4,000 ft).

On The Trail

From the Cultus Creek Trailhead hike  south along the Indian Heaven Trail (No. 33), Lemei Lake Trail (No. 179), and  Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to Blue Lake (6.6 miles, 1,600 feet of elevation gain).  After camping at Blue Lake return by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail north 5.2 miles to the intersection with the Cultus Creek Trail (No. 108), then hike the Cultus Creek Trail 1.6 miles back to Cultus Creek Campground and Trailhead (6.8 miles, 1,600 feet of elevation gain). 


  • The route can be extended by taking any of the many side trails to scenic lakes along the route.
  • Shorter out-and-back, loop and Figure 8 day hiking and backpacking trips are options.
  • If the established campsites at popular Blue Lake are full or if more solitude is desired,  additional established sites can be found at nearby Tombstone Lake for an added 0.6 mile round trip and 100 feet of elevation gain.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Day Hiking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 13.3 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,150 ft
  • 5,225 ft
  • Green Trails Indian Heaven Wilderness No. 365S
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Indian Heaven Wilderness Lakes
  • Indian Heaven Lakes Loop
  • Indian Heaven: Blue Lake via Cultus Creek
  • Indian Heaven: Tombstone Lake via Cultus Creek
  • Indian Heaven: Clear Lake
  • Indian Heaven: Clear & Junction Lakes

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