Features: Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Considerable runoff and snowfield crossings. Loose rocks and difficult footing.
From the west end of the Heart of the Hills Campground parking lot, head steadily uphill through some uniformly dense forest. Enter a relentless series of wide switchbacks through relatively unexciting stands of Douglas fir. Pass by "Halfway Rock" on the left or southern side of the trail. It is notable because it was dropped by a retreating glacier, not because it accurately measures the halfway point en route to Heather Park!
Continue steeply up the hillside eventually contouring around the southeastern side of First Top. Here the forest becomes sparser and the views greatly improve. An arduous set of sharp switchbacks deposits you at the ridge just north of Heather Park camp. The camp is situated in lovely meadows below rugged Second Top. Many folks think the views from First Top surpass the views from Second Top.
Continue southwards, just to the west below the crest over more moderate terrain. Cross over the ridge at a saddle and head down a number of steep switchbacks. Now on the eastern side of Mount Angeles, cross through a snowy cirque and climb the last steep pitch to the ridge. The Heather Park trail ends here at the junction between the Klahhane Ridge Trail
to the east and the Switchback Trail
to the west.
Deer, marmot, mountain lions, black bears.