Indian Henry's Hunting Ground
- Distance, round trip, via Kautz Creek: 11.5 miles
- Elevation gain, via Kautz Creek: 3000 feet
- Hiking time, round trip, via Kautz Creek: 6-8 hours
- Distance, round trip, via Longmire: 13 miles
- Elevation gain, via Longmire: 2400 feet
- Hiking time, round trip, via Longmire: 8 hours
- Wilderness Camps: Pyramid Peak, Devil's Dream
Indian Henry's Hunting Ground can be reached from Longmire or from Kautz Creek, or the trail can be completed as a through hike by leaving a second vehicle at one of the locations.
Indian Henry's Hunting Ground via Kautz Creek
Park at the Kautz Creek Picnic Area and take the trailhead located across the road. Follow Kautz Creek for about 1 mile before crossing the creek on a log bridge and enter old-growth forest. In another half mile the trail begins a series of switchbacks and climbs steeply through forest for another 2 miles before emerging along the south flank of Mount Ararat. The trail enters a series of meadows before climbing a final ridge and descending to the ranger cabin in the meadows of Indian Henry's.
Indian Henry's Hunting Ground via Longmire
This route begins at Longmire along the the Wonderland Trail. The trailhead connecting to the Wonderland Trail is located across the street from the Longmire museum and main parking area, on the same side of the road as the Administration Building. The trail joins the Wonderland Trail approximately 0.1 mile above Longmire. Take the left fork, following the Wonderland Trail to the north. In another 0.1 mile the trail crosses the Longmire/Paradise road and enters old-growth forest and climbs somewhat steeply for 1.7 miles to the junction with the Rampart Ridge Trail.
From there the trail descends to Kautz Creek, with a log bridge crossing. Note: Washouts of this log bridge are not uncommon, so it is recommended to inquire about the status of this crossing at a Wilderness Center or Ranger Station before leaving.
After about 1.3 miles, the trail reaches Pyramid Creek Camp. From there it ascends via a series of switchbacks, crosses Fisher's Hornpipe Creek, and traverses along a ridge to Devil's Dream Camp (5 miles from Longmire). The trail then rises gradually for another mile before reaching the ranger patrol cabin in the meadows of Indian Henry's.
NOTE: Always check current trail conditions before heading out. Log footbridges frequently wash out during the winter or other conditions could be affecting the trail.
Along the Trail
Near the Kautz Creek trailhead there is evidence of the Kautz Creek flood of about 70 years ago with boulder fields and many large dead trees still standing.
If hiking from Longmire, Kautz Creek is a popular lunch break by travelers, as is Pyramid Creek (just past the Pyramid Creek Camp). From Pyramid Creek to Devil's Dream the trail is mainly in old-growth forest. Just before Devil's Dream Camp a stream has carved a deep narrow canyon. This stream is commonly used as a water source for hikers and campers. Shortly after passing Devil's Dream Camp the trail reaches the beautiful Squaw Lake area with small meadows and partial views of Iron Mountain.
From there the trail passes several small streams and meadows and soon reaches the large meadows of Indian Henry's Hunting Ground. About ¼ mile beyond the ranger cabin is the trail to Mirror Lake (0.7 mile) and the base of Pyramid Peak. From Indian Henry's, the Wonderland Trail descends to Tahoma Creek and the suspension bridge leading to Emerald Ridge and South Puyallup River Camp.
Indian Henry's is noted for its magnificent displays of flowers which begin typically in mid-July and extend into late August. In September and October these meadows also have impressive fall colors.
Permits are required for all overnight backcountry travel. Permits, camp locations, and regulations for backcountry travel may be obtained from the Longmire Wilderness Information Center, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Backpackers may camp at Pyramid Creek 3 miles from Longmire, or Devil's Dream 5 miles from Longmire. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Treat water before drinking.