Photos of Indian Racetrack Trail to Red Mountain Lookout

6.5 miles
1,515 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers

2 months ago

This is definitely not an easy hike ( I'd say moderate to hard) but well worth the visit. On a clear day (I visited on 11/19/18) you can see mt hood, mt Adam's, mt Rainier and mt st Helen's. It was also very windy, blow you over and freezing windy at the lookout. The trail this time of year in November is frozen ground practically the whole way. The trail is slippery and your feet are constantly sinking into dirt/ice. It's a constant climb up a semi steep mountain. The final push to the road to the lookout is very steep. The road to the lookout is not bad but still an incline. Starting out on the trail I used Google maps (which was not clear in the dark where the trailhead was) and when I got to falls creek horse camp it was still dark 6:30am. You can start this trail a little uphill and practically right across from the bathroom through a picnic area or the true trailhead is past the second camp entrance uphill and to the right. trail was fairly easy to navigate. You'll want to stay on 171 to get to the lookout. There was a trail right after the Indian racetrack sign at the beginning and to the left, I didn't take it and have no idea where it goes. This trail was very beautiful this time of year but do use caution and it was very helpful having trekking poles. At the lake junction you'll want to make a (I'm not sure where left takes you, the trail was frozen over in a mini pond, think the sign said shortcut but couldn't make it out without trekking on the ice.) right and then look to the left for the 171. You could make a loop of this hike but I'm not sure how many miles it would add as the shortcut way looks like the longer side, might be fun though. You do need a northwest forrest pass to park here, there is no pay station here so pay for a day pass before you get here. There is one vaulted toilet at the camp, but no toilet paper. I hiked a little over 7 miles total and it took me 3hrs up and 2 hours down with a break or two at the top and at the lake.