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Indian Racetrack

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area
View map below

Length

5.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 700 ft.
Highest Point: 5200 ft.

Rating

3.33 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2014
 
 
 

Visit an ancient recreation area where the local tribes once harvested food during the day and competed in horse races for after-work entertainment.

This enjoyable out-and-back trail begins with a gentle descent through alternating conifer forest and open meadows on Red Mountain’s north flank, to a healthier descent between two unnamed buttes. Just remember, what goes down, eventually has to come back up.

After a steady descent for one mile, the trail levels out on the sloping flanks of Berry Mountain at a small lake and trail junction. To view the racetracks, take the left fork and head northward through grassy, wide-open meadows. The fork right proceeds 0.75 mile east to connect with the PCT, which heads north and traverses Berry Mountain.

To get a closer look at the rutted tracks, where the pounding hooves of racing horse once thundered, venture into the meadows — but be sure not to disturb the tracks. Once you’ve imagined the raucous scene of exhilarated horseback riders racing across the meadows, snapped a photo or two, and are ready to return, retrace your steps to the small lake and make the climb back to the trailhead.

WTA Pro Tip: Once you're back at the trailhead, venture a few hundred yards to the end of the road to see the Red Mountain Lookout, one of the last remaining manned lookouts in Washington.

From the lookout, take in panoramic views of glacier-clad peaks in two states: Mounts Adams and St. Helens in Washington, and Mount Hood in Oregon. Closer in, hikers can see the Big Lava Bed and a variety of cinder cones, most notably The Wart.

 

Indian Racetrack

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.1298, -121.8392 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area

Indian Race Track (#171)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails No. 365 Mount Lone Butte

Green Trails No. 397 Wind River

Getting There

From Carson, drive north 5.6 miles on Wind River Road. Turn right on Panther Creek Road (FR-65) and continue 11.3 miles to the junction with FR-60. Veer right onto FR-60 and proceed 1.6 miles, then take a left onto FR-6048. Proceed for 4 miles to the trailhead at the hairpin turn near the end of the road. If the gate on FR-6048 is closed, park near the gate, but do not block, and proceed 3 miles up the road on foot to the trailhead. Parking at the gate adds 6 miles roundtrip to your hike.

 

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Indian Racetrack

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