Patjens Lakes Loop Trail is a 6.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cascadia, OR that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and fishing and is accessible from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Hiker this loop over Memorial day weekend and it was empty. We saw two other hikers and that was it. Because of the wildfires several years ago, about three-quarters of the trees on the hike have been killed. The trail has quite a few dead snags (every few hundred feet or so) blocking the way, so following it can be a bit of a challenge at times. There are some good views, and it's relatively flat, so if you're camping in the area, it would make a fine day hike.
Four years after the fire, and the succession process is well underway. Towering over you are the charred remains of former green giants. At your feet - bustling insects (bring spray), bounding herbivores (on a weekday, you are very likely to encounter a few), and delicate baby plants/pioneer species set the stage for an incredible forest revival.
Segments of the trail still remain a luscious green - allowing you to view the stark contrast. And plenty refreshing views of lakes.
Great Day hike with views of Three Fingered Jack, The Three Sisters and plenty of views of Mt. Washington overlooking lakes. Looks like a good place to swim as well. Most of the hike is thru a area that had been destroyed by a wildfire which is to bad. It does however open the area up more for views. Went on a clear sunny day on a Saturday and was happy with how few people were there.
The Patjens Trail at Big Lake Campground is a wonderful and scenic 5.5 mile loop S, SW of the lake. If you start along the lake, the first half of you trek will be mostly level or downhill, with some nice views through the forest of Mt Washington. The was a large fire in the area sometime in the last five to ten years, but vegetation is coming back strong and will soon fill in the spaces. I hiked this trail June 2013 and the mosquitoes were plentiful, but if you stay in motion, they don't bother much. The best time of year to camp in this area will be from Mid July to the end of summer, as this is when the Mosquitoes are gone. The hike passes three pristine lakes on its way to the S, SW side of the trail, where it becomes a lush, green forest, with lots of animal activity. It then turns back North and uphill, with some switchbacks and if you turn around at the top of the hill and look South, you'll be treated to a nice view of Mt Washington and the Three Sisters. The trail comes out approximately 200 yards up the road from where you begin. Great way to pass a few hours while camping, or just for a day. The guide says 5 hours, but I completed it in 2.
A beautiful day hike in the high country with few people. To do the hike by the loop go counter clockwise so you climb 350' in 1.8 miles across the saddle and now down a steep trail to a small pond. Continue past the pond to the 3 Patjens lakes. From the largest center lake to the trailhead is 2.5 miles. For a shorter hike walk directly clockwise to the lakes then return back the way you came. This is one of my favorite day hikes!