Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher

It’s embarrassing to admit it, but even though we’ve camped at Thompson’s Lake and visited the friendly and wonderful Thacher Nature Center and hiked and even snowshoed around Thacher Park, somehow I’d managed to miss everyone’s favorite trail, the Indian Ladder Trail. I had to laugh when a guest poster this summer reminded all of us that there’s more to Thacher than Indian Ladder, because I still hadn’t hiked it.

Today we packed a lunch and went with some friends to explore. They loved all of the steps,

and the crevices,

and all the views.

Then we pushed our luck and tried some letterboxing. We’ve enjoyed letterboxing before, but the ones we sought today were surprisingly tough. I’m not sure if the information was outdated or the clues were just bad, but we were only able to find one box out of three that we’d tried to find, and the one did find wasn’t anywhere near where we expected: the mothers had become so desperate that we were turning every rock into a 20-foot radius. The kids, meanwhile, just wanted to drop the hunt and catch frogs.

Oh! That reminds me of a high point on today’s adventure: we saw a snake eating a frog! The poor frog still had his hind legs out and was fighting valiantly, but as the snake slithered away from his audience, well, it wasn’t looking good. And along the road we saw a bunch of baby pigs. Here are a few of them trying to get their mom to feed them. At one point a couple of them looked like they were trying to forcibly turn her over to get to teats. It was pretty hilarious. Meanwhile, mama’s just lying there, desperately trying to sleep. I totally empathize.

It was a fun day, and now we’re definitely going to have to go back in the spring when there’s some water on all those falls.




  1. Anya Paradiso

    In 1969 we visited Indian Ladder several times. There was a hand built “castle” on top made of rocks and concrete. The place was owned by an old woman and her son who had been gassed in WWI. He was a little off. He did all the building–she encouraged him to keep him sane. One of your photos looks like it is at the castle, but I can find no info online. I’m sure the two are dead now, but did they knock most of the castle down? Do you know the history? I am really curious and would appreciate any info or contact with someone who knows.

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