PCT WA Day 4 – Indian Heaven Wilderness


Parking lot Camp (2198.9) to Trout Creek Camp (2224.9)

26 miles

I woke up to the roar of a cougar. Well… wait. It was just a ringing sound. Sounds like tent stakes very close by and it’s a sign that Brolli takes off. Early bird.

Indian Fire – my favorite plant on trail

Today the trail would climb up into Indian Heaven Wilderness. My memories from 2019 were mixed. It was all covered in snow up there and I remember that I had to wade through knee deep water in the late afternoon. I was freezing cold when I arrived at Blue Lake to pitch my tent on the one and only snow free spot right next to a “no camping” sign. What a difference! This year I crossed all those meadows with dry feet.

Sheep Lake – there’s many of them 😉
This meadow was flooded in 2019!

Arriving up at Blue Lake it was still cold and windy today but without snow the landscape looked a bit different. I sat down for a few M&Ms and thought about the time I had spend here before. Hiking on I had all the Cougars in my mind that lived up here. Those cats had been my only companions in June 2019 and their paw prints often helped me find my way with a snow covered trail. I felt thankful for these cats yet I wouldn’t see any signs of them this year. Shy guys!

Blue Lake – some sunshine please the next time!

The miles came easily especially when I was hunted by mosquitoes. I didn’t carry deet and was thinking about my long sleeve mosquito proof shirt that was waiting somewhere at a post office in Seattle. What did I think? But the bugs weren’t too bad. Of course I got bitten multiple times and it wasn’t great fun to slap at my own shoulders all the time but it could have been worse. I flew past the lakes and started descending towards the road to Trout Lake. I wanted to have an easy hike into town tomorrow and so I decided to skip the side trip to Steamboat Lake and it’s campsite in favor to getting closer to town. Trout Creek was coming up again and with aching feet I arrived at the reasonable creek around 7:30. Big day. I pitched my tent next to a duplex tent (they seem to be very popular this year) and thought it was the Asian couple I had met before. The mozzies convinced me to have dinner in my tent. It was mashed potatoes this time as I didn’t want to take time for soaking Ramen.

Can you spot the animal?
Mosquito Creek

The night was not too bad. I reduced all background noise from the creek by using earplugs (otherwise I would have to pee a million times). Early in the morning I could still hear something. It was dripping on my tent. Followed by some roaring thunder. All I could do was turning around again and relax my sore muscles.

Right now it’s past 8 am and it’s time to head towards the road that would lead me to Trout Lake. A shuttle was set up by this very Hiker friendly community and I wanted to catch it at 12:30. Time for breakfast now!

4 replies
  1. Carolyn McAlear
    Carolyn McAlear says:

    Snow at Blue Lake. I’ve been there many times in late August and had sun. Have fun at Trout Lake. The huckleberry ice cream is great!

    • lifetimetrails
      lifetimetrails says:

      Hi Carolyn, last time I was there it was June with snow. So this time I had no snow but it was still cold and windy up there. Trout Lake is great. Love it!


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