9m 2,475ft gain
Ancestral homelands of the: Cowlitz, Yakama, Siletz & Klickitat
Lemei Rock is the highest peak in the Indian Heaven Wilderness, which is surrounded by Cascade volcanoes, big (Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, and Hood) and small. The wilderness area lies within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and is a short drive from Trout Lake, Washington where Mount Adams is king. Lemei is a Chinook Indian word meaning “old woman.” This old mountain is a craggy remnant of a volcano whose crater is now Lake Wapiki. There are a few maintained trails that lead to the base of the summit ridge but from there it’s a rock scramble as the name suggests.
1st Trip: 9/25/2021
Ellie, Moose and I took advantage of a nice Saturday in September by going to the often-overlooked Mount Adams area. It is overlooked in the summer because of the killer mosquitoes. This was our first time back since climbing Mount Adams in 2017 and it won’t be our last now that we live somewhat closer (2 hours). Considering the scramble and the length of hike this was a bit ambitious for my wife who was 4 months pregnant but we took it slow and had a fun and exciting day.
Starting from the Lemei Trailhead we followed Trail #34 for 4.1 miles to the base of the rock. We enjoyed some fresh fall color.
After 4 miles we arrived in a meadow with a 500ft rock monolith standing in front of us. There are a few options to gain the ridge but the obvious chute or gully on the left side is the easiest way up.
We stopped atop the ridge and enjoyed vistas of the Cascade volcanoes and the expanse of Indian Heaven.
We loved the premiere front porch view of Mount Adams to the northeast with Sleeping Beauty Peak dwarfed below.
From the top of the ridge it is a short scramble on solid rock to the summit.
It was great to get out in a new wilderness area and pump up the excitement for Ellie’s last climb before we welcome our baby climber! Looking forward to more trips in the Dark Divide and the Mount Adams area!