Pamelia Lake Trail

EASY 21 reviews
#11 of 106 trails in

Pamelia Lake Trail is a 4.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Idanha, OR that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.2 miles 811 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

canoeing

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

To get here take Hwy 22 63 miles east of Salem/I-5. Turn left on Pamelia Road and keep right at all forks. You will hit the parking area in about 4 miles.

20 days ago

Easy hike- just did this on 11/17- the snow on the trees was incredible!!

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked in 10/09/2016 and added Grizzly Peak - both are well maintained, low-traffic trails. The reason I'm giving two stars are the BEES - we had 6 people and everyone (including the dogs) got stung 2 or more times, and this was over the course of the entire hike. If you go just take precaution!

2 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

The hike was GREAT!

However the warned of the fact that you need to have a permit only available in advance from recreation.gov additionally you have to get a parking permit in advance as well.

This is a limited entry area (fines up to $250)

All that is stuff I wish I had known before going up there.

camping
7 months ago

Loved the old forest. Easy trail to Pamelia Lake. In 2015 the lake was dried up and surrounded by the mud left behind, but still enjoyed the hike.

1 year ago

A great hike with my dog.

1 year ago

Pamelia Lake water level is low but enjoyable. Only stopped for 20 mins before pushing on. The last 2.5 miles to Hunts Cove is very steep and slow. Trail is getting over grown through the upper portions. Stayed at Hunts Lake for 2 nights because the fishing was better than Hanks Lake.

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

This was my second trip to Pameila Lake. The first was 40 years ago. The trail was pretty much what I remembered and is an easy hike up to the lake. The creek was flowing pretty good, but when I got to the lake I was shocked. It could have been called Pameila Bog instead I guess that's what happens after a year with no snow and not that much rain. Still a great hike. Remember your permit as we did get checked on the way in.

birding
1 year ago

camping
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Nice, easy hike. Uphill on the way in. We went in March when it was supposed to be snowed in, but since we have no snow this year, it was clear. A little bit of ice at the lake though.

camping
2 years ago

Chose Pamelia Lake for our Memorial backpacking trip since we didn't want to get hindered by snow at some of the other trails in the Cascades. Nice hike up and a great view from our site (2). Lots of foot traffic through it though. Tried to hike up toward Hunts, but stopped at an unbridged crossing of Hunts Creek since the water was running pretty swift and high. Nice hike from Pamelia to there though with tons of little creeks and waterfalls to cross, worth the little excursion. Other hikers said there was snow not too much further up after the crossing. Easy trip to start getting ready for backpacking season but don't forget your NW Forest pass and online permit - ranger came around checking.

hiking
3 years ago

An easy hike to Pamelia Lake, but quite a bit more rigorous up to Hunts Cove. The views of Jefferson are excellent from the lake, there's easy access to the PCT, and the fishing is outstanding in Spring after the ice clears. Also there are some of the biggest Rhododendrons I've ever seen. 20' tall giants, which are spectacular in bloom.

hiking
3 years ago

this was an easy hike, but very pretty. great view of mount Jefferson . I didn't get a chance to do the hunts cove portion of the hike. spoke to some backpackers who said that it was awesome up there. so I will go back for that part of it.

hiking
3 years ago

Took my daughter on their first backpacking trip along this trail this weekend. Took some time getting to the lake (we earned the newbie title- oh boy!) but once we arrived it took no time to scout out a designated camp site and set up camp.

Attempted to fish, although I wouldn't recommend it. The sights, sounds and smells are amazing here. More foot traffic than I prefer but met some very nice people as they walked through our campsite (the trail). Would have like to make it to the old growth forest but our inexperience didn't leave much room for that.

There is another trip here in my near future. I will be leaving the 2.5 gallon jug of water in my car next time. (_)

hiking
3 years ago

My husband and I did a short backpacking trip in mid October of 2012 for our anniversary. Our intention was to go into Pamelia and make the Shale Lake/Hunt's Cove Loop in a couple of days. We ended up only doing an in and back overnighter to Shale Lake (since our tent sprang a leak in the middle of the night and a lot of our gear ended up soggy and heavy). The weather had been perfect the weekend before (when of course we couldn't go...) but was pretty dreary after about mid day on Friday the weekend we went - sporadic showers during the day and torrential rain at night. (I believe this would be a 5 star in my book if not for the crummy weather experience and lack of visibility from most of the viewpoints. I live for view...)

The trail is really lovely through the woods and an easy walk from the TH to Pamelia Lake. The lake's surrounding scenery, with close up views of Mt Jefferson, is gorgeous - especially on a nice clear day. However, standing on the lake's shore is not my favorite way to experience it. I'ld much rather be up at one of the viewpoints along the PCT between there and Shale Lake, taking in the scenery below and the view of the other peaks. The route we intended to take is a 17 mile loop with 2900' of elevation gain - Pamelia Lake / Mud Hole / Shale Lake / Hunt's Cove / Pamelia. There is some elevation gain between the TH and Pamelia, but not much. The majority is in the stretch between Pamelia to the Mud Hole/Shale Lake areas - approximately 4 miles. However, it's a fairly gradual gain with plenty of switchbacks winding along the hillside. We had our beagle mix mutt with us and, while it tired him out (which is next to impossible), a day of hiking this trail/7 miles didn't mean he couldn't play some fetch at camp.

The rise between Mud Hole Lake and Shale Lake looks to be an idea camp spot but we camped shy of there due to falling dark. After dark a group of hikers came through still trying to reach the lake before setting up camp. (Their itinerary was to scale the South side of Mt. Jefferson the next day.) Luckily they were well equipped and even had an altimeter with them so they had a good idea of the distance still left until the lake. These were the only people that we had seen all day and it made us feel a bit better that they admitted that it seemed like the trail map provided by the Detroit Ranger Station (with their permit for Pamelia) didn't seem to accurately match the actual trail experience. (The only way they had satisfied their "Where the &%$# is that lake?!" feeling that we had also had, was with the altimeter.)

We look forward to going back and completing this hike in better weather. The views will be spectacular from the PCT down into Pamelia Lake & the coves. We didn't plan on taking any of the side trips to Grizzly Peak, etc on this trip - but the photos I've seen lead me to believe these would be a worthwhile addition to the agenda if I planned on being in this area for a few days.

(My current profile picture is candid, from waking up that morning and realizing everything was soaked. #thankshusband...)

hiking
4 years ago

Lake was beautiful. Well worth the hike. Trail was easy. lot of fun.

hiking
4 years ago

Super easy, flat trail. Perfect for beginning/casual backpackers or hikers. There's good scenery along the way as you hike near a creek and as you come up to the lake. It's flat up to and around the lake. I chose to continue up to Hunts and Hanks lakes (Stayed for 3 days and an extra 3.xx miles each way). It's a GREAT hike up there! 1 stream crossing some LONG switchbacks but fantastic scenery (streams, waterfalls, views of the Cascades, etc.) and some great resting points to enjoy a snack at. If you plan on fishing be sure to go early July. The lakes had just barely broken the ice on top when I got there.

At Pamelia Lake we only ran into one other group of people and they were nice and respectful. There's plenty of room for multiple groups at the lake though. The fishing here wasn't very good. I had a couple bites and that's about it. It could have been I tried too long after the hatch because Hunts and Hanks didn't provide either! The trail gets a little dusty sometimes and you need to pay attention to where you step in spots as there are some roots sticking up into the trail (don't trip).

It's a great trail and a lot of fun!

hiking
5 years ago

Level, easy, basically a walk. ore than a hike. The lake is beautiful. Would like to go back in winter and snowshoe it. Well maintained trail