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Indian Racetrack Trail to Red Mountain Lookout

MODERATE 27 reviews

Indian Racetrack Trail to Red Mountain Lookout is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Trout Lake, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,515 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

off trail
washed out
2 months ago

I loved this trail. The way up is very pretty, especially where there is a crescent shaped lake. The lake had flooded over the trail so we had to bushwack a very tiny bit. The views at the top were stellar. Saw 5 mountains: St. Helens (a neat perspective), Rainier, Adams, Hood, Jefferson. The lookout itself was neat, watch out for loose boards.

hiking
off trail
rocky
snow
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

the hardest "moderate" trail I have done but also the most rewarding. the view at the end is amazing.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

Getting There I live in North Clark County and Google Maps says going the North route (through Cougar) is about 6 minutes longer than going through Carson. I like taking the Northern route. I wouldn’t do that if I had a vehicle with low clearance, though. There were some tough spots on the FR6507 segment of the trip where I was glad I wasn’t driving my old Volvo. The route from Carson is WAY easier on the rig you are driving. I learned the hard way that Google Maps truly believes I can drive to a Trailhead located between Red Mountain and Racetrack Lake. While I agree there is a road, it is gated (as of July 2019). The Bug Experience The Indian Heavens is infamous for bugs. I didn’t think they were too bad till I got to the Racetrack and stopped to catch my breath, and take a few pics before considering whether or not I was going on up to the Red Mountain Lookout. I then found myself being swarmed with I don’t know what so I put some bug stuff on and started moving again. The bugs left me alone after that but later that night I found they did have a pretty good feast on my arm. The Trail On this trip (7/5/2019) I went from the Trailhead by Falls Creek Horse Camp and went as far as the lake. The trail is very much a horse trail - meaning spots where you are walking in a knee deep gully that has been carved out from previous travelers. Not a drawback, just information. It’s a decent upward climb through incredible forest for the first part of the trail. It then levels off a bit as you get nearer to the Racetrack. Plenty of shade but it never feels closed in. The only water you cross is a footbridge over Falls Creek. After reaching the Racetrack field, it was tempting to continue up just another mile to the summit of Red Mountain but I knew that was a pretty steep mile, it was kind of overcast, and I got a late start. Next time maybe. Racetrack Lake and the field surrounding it are magical. One can only imagine how it must have been when local tribes gathered. I was pleased to see that there were wildflowers still coming into bloom here in the first week of July. Huckleberry season will be amazing in this area.

hiking
Tue Nov 20 2018

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.

Tue Sep 25 2018

This was my first hike and I would not classify this trail as easy. Beautiful hike.

hiking
Sun Jun 03 2018

This was not an easy hike on Memorial Day May 28th 2018. Trail was fine for 1/4 mike and then the snow patches appeared. Very wet, rocky, snowy, sometimes dangerous going over huge banks of snow. We loved it! Trail had several places where trees were down too. We did a ton of bushwhacking, stream slipping, and bog wogging! This was a real adventure that we were not planning on but were definitely prepared for. We only made it to the Indian Racetrack lake but, it was well worth it. So beautiful and not a soul on the trail or at the lake. We had planned on going to the Red Mountain lookout but we knew we had to go back the way we came in and we were tired. The trail was also difficult because it was not well marked until over halfway when there is pink ribbons on trees every so often. Luckily someone else had been there recently. We followed dog prints and trekker pole marks. I rated this a 3 this time because the trail obviously had not been maintained in years and there is no way that this is an easy trail. Anyway, it was super fun and worth the trekking.

Wed Sep 07 2016

Unsure at first but happy to realize that we were actually standing on the race track! Had a lovely lunch with my wife overlooking the race track and lake. Very few people and very few bugs! September 3rd was a great time. A few huckleberries still clinging to their branches!

backpacking
Fri Jun 24 2016

Went yesterday 6/22/16. Worth the hike, but I'd wait till it's dry to go. Mosquitos can be killer at the race track meadow. Also if you go outside of the suggested hike time, the trail will be flooded by the lake and you'll have to do some blazing of your own. Quite a bit of debris on the trail since the WTA last went through in 2014.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

horseback riding
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

hiking
Fri Jun 01 2018

Sun Jul 03 2016

mountain biking
Fri Sep 11 2015

hiking
Sun Jul 19 2015