Chimney Peak Trail is a 23.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cascadia, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Sweet Home: Travel east on Hwy. #20 for 23.3 miles and turn left on Forest Road 2041 (Soda Fork.) Stay on 2041 for 12 miles to spur road 646 and turn right. The trailhead is at the end of the spur road.
1st day we hiked from 10:30-6. It took us too long to cross the middle fork of the Santiam river messing around for an hour looking to cross it without getting wet. Should have just jumped it at the top of the rock below the shelter.
Didn't make it all the way too the lake, we should have camped at pyramid creek in the nice little camp there, but we pushed on for another hour or so and camped in the old 2041 road at the trail head box where it says 2.8 miles to Donaca Lake. Next morning we got up on made it to the lake in about 2 hours. Tried fishing for awhile but no luck. We didn't have any worms to try as bait. Should have brought worms and bobbers. We saw a few fish jump and I've caught them here before so I know they are in there.
While we were at the lake about 5pm a couple with a dog and a fishing pole showed up, but as soon as they saw us they turned around and left?? Very odd. About 45 minutes later 6 more people showed up, 2 couples with 2 younger kids. Donaca lake has at least to good spots to camp, possible 1-2 other spots that you can make work if it too crowded. 3rd day we tried fishing again and so did a few of the other people, but no one had any luck. Different bait is definitely in order. Maybe some different weather might help, beautiful 85 degrees and sunny isn't that great for catching fish. We packed up and headed out, after about 2-3 hours we hit pyramid creek camp and decided to just push on out to the truck. About 3 more hours hi king and we hit the trail head and headed back to town. This time we jumped the river at the trail and got across much easier and quicker. I will up load the tracks, but the maps and GPS distances are WAY off. Map shows maybe 5-6 miles to the lake, Gps shows we hiked over 9 miles...
Excellent trail, hiked it with my Dad about 30 years ago, Then took the wife a couple years later, she didn't like it much. So eventually, I got a new wife.
At the time several parts of the trail had slid out with many trees across it.
Now 25 years later I'm planning on taking the kids back to Donaca Lake for a 3-4 day camping/hiking trip. We've been scouting the best way back to the trail, since driving up to chimney peak and hitting the trail at the peak is no longer an option.