Scenic Sawtooth Mountain
Sawtooth Mountain Trailhead
One of the best hikes of this season for me was Sawtooth Mountain Trail in Indian Heaven Wilderness. So many views to see!
The trailhead starts at the north end of the wilderness. It rises through berry fields into wooded slopes. After a while, the trail splits. The Pacific Crest Trail continues to the right while the Sawtooth Mountain Trail forges upward. Definitely hike the higher trail. It’s the one with the views.
At various locations along the trail, you will see views of Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, and Mt St Helens. Equally spectacular are the rock formations of Sawtooth Mountain itself, panorama views of Lone Butte and the surrounding forest. Descending the south slope of the mountain, you can see Mt Hood peaking over a ridge. Bird Mountain is a prominent landmark as well.
Mt St Helens
Wood Lake Trail wanders
through an alpine meadow
I came upon the intersection of Pacific Crest Trail, Cultus Creek Trail, and Wood Lake Trail. I followed Wood Lake Trail to the right. It went downhill and through alpine meadows. I reached a pretty little lake and was about to take a break when I saw another sign that indicated Wood Lake was still a quarter mile away.
When I reached Wood Lake, I walked around it to the far side and had a nice view of Mt Rainier. Then I settled down with a book, a powerbar for lunch, and a cup of Starbuck’s Via. It was a very pleasant afternoon.
On my return, I followed the PCT all the way, rather than return on the Sawtooth Mountain Trail. It was an easier hike, but there were absolutely NO views worth writing about from the PCT.