Trail #171 Indian Race Track

Area Status: Unreachable

This Trail Open to Hiker and Equestrian Use.

This heavily used trail is located in the southwestern part of Indian Heaven Wilderness. The trail travels through second growth forest, rocky terrain , a meadow and ends near Red Mountain fire lookout. The meadow was the site of annual gatherings of Native Americans during huckleberry season. There is still evidence of the track they used for pony racing in the meadow.

Beginning at Falls Creek Horse Camp, the trail travels southeastward through second-growth forests and crosses Falls Creek with a natural crossing. The trail enters Indian Heaven Wilderness, then climbs through rocky terrain for one mile to a meadow where the grade flattens. This area is called Indian Race Track. At this point, Trail #171A leaves Trail #171 and heads east for 0.5 mile before connecting with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000. Indian Race Track Trail #171 then climbs from Indian Race Track to Road 6048 near the summit of Red Mountain. A fire lookout is located on the summit of Red Mountain. The original lookout was built in 1910. It was replaced over the years by two other lookouts. The Red Mountain Lookout is one of three active lookouts remaining on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest today!

Indian Race Track was, historically, an annual gathering place for Native Americans during the berry season until the early 1900s. From eyewitness reports, we know that thousands of people from the Yakama, Klickitat, and Columbia River tribes would gather here each year. Not only was this a good huckleberry site but it was located along a historic cross-Cascades route that was used for trade. The track was used for pony races and is about 10-feet-wide and more than 2,000 feet long. It can still be seen today in a large meadow near the base of Red Mountain, about one-half mile from the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 2/04/2020: Road to trailhead is snow covered and not accessible during the Winter and Spring. Please call the Mt. Adams Ranger District for current information 509-395-3402.
Permit Info: Wilderness Permit Required.  Permits are free and self-issued at the trailhead.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Wilderness Regulations a Apply.
Closest Towns: Stabler, WA; Carson, WA;Trout Lake, WA
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Mt. Adams Ranger District

General Information


Northern access: Indian Race Track Trailhead -North adjacent to Falls Creek Horse Camp off Forest Road 65. (Primary access)

Southern accessIndian Race Track Trailhead #171 - South


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  Area/Length : 
3.1 miles

  Elevation : 
3500' - 4600'