hike: Indian Racetrack and Red Mountain Lookout

The Indian Racetrack was used by native tribes for hundreds of years. They gathered here in the summer to hunt, forage huckleberries, and race horses in the open meadow. Continue to the Red Mountain Lookout for panoramic views of the Cascades.

distance: 6.2 miles (out and back)
elevation gain: 1,465 ft.
difficulty: moderate
best season: summer to fall
parking pass: none
hike description: OregonHikers: Indian Racetrack hike
drive time from Portland: 1 hour 45 minutes

The Hike

Indian Heaven Wilderness is my favorite place to hike in the fall, with huckleberries in brilliant shades of yellow and red. We were planning to hike to Blue Lake from the Thomas Lake trailhead, but the road was washed out so we started at the Indian Racetrack instead and hiked up to the Red Mountain lookout.

As we neared the meadows, we started to see more color in huckleberry shrubs.

The meadows are open and grassy, with a large tarn with barely any water left in it. The trail just ends when you reach the racetrack, and to find the junction for Red Mountain, look straight across the meadow for a small trail sign.

Heading up towards Red Mountain, views open up.

It was very windy up at Red Mountain lookout. We went up and sat on the side of the building out of the wind to have lunch before heading back down.

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