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Length: 8.5 Miles
Trailhead(s): Lemei Trailhead
Elevation Gain: 2,042′
Trail Type: Out & Back
Permit Required? No
Season: Late Spring to Early Fall
Located near Mount Adams, the Lemei Trail travels up Lemei Rock and delivers top knotch views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Lake Wapiki.
What Makes Hiking the Lemei Trail to Lemei Rock so Great?
Views, of course! Hiking the Lemei Trail takes you to a high meadow below the base of Lemei Rock’s dramatic rock outcropping with excellent views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens. As an added bonus, you also have beautiful views of Wapiki Lake and the opportunity to take a side trail to visit the lake. If you are looking for a solid hike with outstanding views in the Mount Adams area, this is a great choice.
Hiking Lemei Trail to Lemei Rock
The Lemei Trail, located in the Indian Heaven Wilderness of Washington state, takes you up Lemei Rock to the base of its rocky peak. Here the views are fantastic, with outstanding views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens.
At 5,925′, Lemei Rock is the highest point in the Indian Heaven Wilderness of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The “Rock” is actually a shield volcano, topped by a volcanic crater. It is one of 60 shield volcanos in the Indian Heaven Wilderness.
The hike begins as a relatively flat forested hike. After roughly 1.5 miles, the trail begins to climb. As you are hiking up the trail, you will have glimpses of Mount Adams and Mount Rainier through the trees, but the views do not really open up until further towards the top.
At about 3 miles, you reach a junction with the Lake Wapiki Trail. The Lake Wapiki Trail is a .5 mile side trail which takes you to (wait for it! . . .) Lake Wapiki. The lake is a beautiful deep blue and actually sits in the crater of the shield volcano.
If you want to take the side trip to the lake, I recommend you wait until you hike back down the trail on your return to your vehicle. The lake is very buggy and the views you get of the lake from the top of the Lemei Trail are excellent, so you may decide to skip the side trail on the way down. By waiting, you preserve your energy for the steep part of the hike that begins just above the the Wapiki Lake Trail, but have the option to take the side trail on your exit.
After the intersection with the Lake Wapiki Trail, the Lemei Trail climbs steeply as it moves up towards open meadows. About .25 miles from the Lake Wapiki Trail, you will see some side trails to overlooks where you can view the lake. The show, however, is yet to come.
Hiking further, you begin moving into open meadows with amazing views of Mount Adams and Mount Rainier. Eventually, you reach a wide open high meadow that overlooks the deep blue Lake Wapiki, with awesome views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens. All the while, towering 500′ feet above you is the beautiful rock outcropping that tops Lemei Rock.
At this point, enjoy the views, take a bunch of pictures, and have a snack or lunch. If you are feeling particularly spunky, you can climb to the summit of the rock outcropping – subject, of course, to your own skill, experience, and judgment as to whether you can climb it safely. If you decide not to go up, its no big loss, the views around you at its base are amazing.
When you are ready, return to your vehicle down the Lemei Trail. If you still have the energy, don’t forget to take the Lake Wapiki side trail to check out the lake.
The Mount Adams area has some amazing hikes with outstanding views. I would definitely put this hike in the top three. If you can only do one hike while you are in the area, I would actually select the Killen Creek Trail to High Camp, but if you have the time and are looking for another outstanding hike, you won’t go wrong with this one. Enjoy!
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Additional Information (Click below to follow links.)
Lemei Trail to Lemei Rock Slideshow
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