Hand Lake Trail is a 1.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Blue River, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Not as long as I thought it would be. I completed the hike in July of 2014. The lake was mostly dried up and the area around the lake was very spongy mud. The lava piles behind the lake are an awesome viewpoint to the surrounding areas. The three sided cabin was neat. Lots of vegetation to look at.
This is a nice trail that hugs the edge of Scott Lake and then heads out over easy terrain to Hand Lake Shelter. We started at the Scott Lake parking area where the trail to Benson Lake also begins. Vault toilets at Scott Lake, no facilities at Hand. After the trail leaves the last camping area it gets a bit obscure for a few hundred yards but just keep going and it will become more established. Hand Lake was more of a puddle than a lake - it has been incredibly dry this year.
A few hundred yards before you arrive in the valley where the shelter is the trail forks. The tree the sign was on has toppled. The right fork will take you down the hill to the shelter. The left fork heads to Robinson Lake.
All in all it was a nice approximately 4 mile loop thru some very pretty mountain meadows. This trail is great for casual hikers!