hike: Indian Heaven Wilderness – Thomas Lake to Blue Lake
Located on the west side of Indian Heaven Wilderness, this moderate hike to Blue Lake from the Thomas Lake trailhead is filled with brilliant fall color and subalpine splendor.
distance: 6.6 miles (out and back)
elevation gain: 980 ft.
best season: summer
drive time from Portland: 2 hours
parking pass: NW Forest Pass
hike description: OregonHikers.org: Blue Lake hike
The beginning of the trail heads through a former clear cut area, but soon reaches denser forest. In the first half mile is Thomas, Dee and Heather Lakes . Turn right before reaching Eunice Lake to stay on the Thomas Lake trail.
After a short uphill section, the forest thins and meadows begin to appear. During late September to early October, the meadows are full of brilliant fall color on ripe huckleberry shrubs.
To continue on the trail to Blue Lake, turn right at the junction near Rock Lakes.
The trail descends for the last half mile approaching Blue Lake, passing several additional lakes along the way. Just before Blue Lake, Sahale Tyee Lake appears on the left.
The largest of the lakes in Indian Heaven Wilderness, Blue Lake lives up to it’s name with bright blue-green water.
After taking a break at the lake, return to the trailhead the same way.