Gifford Peak Trail

Nisqually Vista, Washington

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The Indian Heaven Wilderness is tiny compared to some of the wilderness preserves in Washington, but don’t let its size fool you. This is a rare gem with its multitude of sparkling lakes, acres of flower-filled meadows, fields of rich berries, and herds of deer and elk. There are many ways to enter the tiny wilderness area, but from the south the most scenic access is from the top of Red Mountain, a cinder cone volcano. The trail starts high, and the elevation doesn’t change much along the route’s length as the trail follows ridges north. The route leads past a historic gathering place of Northwest tribes—the Indian Racetrack—and traverses a long ridge before ending in the shadow of another volcano, Gifford Peak.
Day Hiking: South Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: South Cascades

by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

The Indian Heaven Wilderness is tiny compared to some of the wilderness preserves in Washington, but don’t let its size fool you. This is a rare gem with its multitude of sparkling lakes, acres of flower-filled meadows, fields of rich berries, and herds of deer and elk.

There are many ways to enter the tiny wilderness area, but from the south the most scenic access is from the top of Red Mountain, a cinder cone volcano. The trail starts high, and the elevation doesn’t change much along the route’s length as the trail follows ridges north. The route leads past a historic gathering place of Northwest tribes—the Indian Racetrack—and traverses a long ridge before ending in the shadow of another volcano, Gifford Peak.

© 2007 Dan A. Nelson /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Nisqually Vista
Distance: 11
Elevation Gain: 700 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Late May-November
Trailhead Elevation: 4,500 feet
Top Elevation: 5,200 feet
Local Contacts: USFS Mount Adams Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 365 Mount Lone Butte, No. 397 Wind River
Driving Directions: Directions to Gifford Peak Trail

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Apr 2018