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Indian Heaven Wilderness from Placid Lake

The Indian Heaven Wilderness is a spectacular place to enjoy on horseback, with pristine lakes, beautiful meadows, mountain views, and an extensive trail network.  The south end of the Wilderness is very crowded in summer, but if you ride from the Placid Lake Trailhead at the north end of the Wilderness, you'll have the place nearly to yourself.

The Riding

The riding near Placid Lake is a delight. You'll find moderate elevation gains, no steep side hills, and plenty of trails to choose from. For example:

From the Placid Lake Trailhead, you can take a short, easy ride to Placid Lake and Chenamus Lake.

Indian Heaven Wilderness, Placid Lake

You can take a pleasant 8-mile out-and-back ride to Deer, Bear, and Elk Lakes.

Indian Heaven Wilderness, Placid Lake Trailhead

The 13-mile lollipop loop to Junction Lake is very scenic, and you can enjoy lunch in the huckleberry meadows around the lake.

Indian Heaven Wilderness, Placid Lake Trailhead

The out-and-back ride to Wood Lake is 9.5 miles round trip, and great fun!  
Indian Heaven Wilderness, Placid Lake Trailhead
And you can travel 16 miles round trip to the Surprise Lakes and enjoy the views of Mt. Adams along the way.
Indian Heaven Wilderness, Placid Lake Trailhead

The north end of the Indian Heaven Wilderness has plenty of trails and riding destinations to fill a long weekend. Don't miss it!

The Camping

You can camp overnight at either the Placid Lake Trailhead or, if you have a larger group, at the Lone Butte quarry, 1.3 miles away. Both spots have trees for highlining, but no toilets or stock water. And no fees!

Indian Heaven Wilderness, Placid Lake

More Information

Learn more about the riding and camping in the Placid Lake area in Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, available at 

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