Welcome Lakes Trail

HARD 1 reviews
#132 of 135 trails in

Welcome Lakes Trail is a 13.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Estacada, OR that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking.

13.2 miles 4101 feet Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

forest

lake

views

hiking
3 years ago

This trail is accessible off the Elk Lake Creek trail (#559 in the Mt. Hood National Forest). From this trail you turn onto #554 (Welcome Lakes Trail) to ascend to the two lakes. However, as of this writing, the trail is heavily impacted by a burn (probably within the last two seasons, based on growth, but I'm not certain), which means that the trail is difficult to find at times, plagued by downed burnt trees, the footing is treacherous, and much of it is on exposed shale with southern exposure, so it gets quite warm in the afternoon. We did eventually make it to the lakes, only to completely lose the trail once and for all. Access to the lake was mostly blocked by downed trees, and heavy vegetation near the actual lakes. Take a map and compass and/or GPS with you, if you try to make it past the lakes! I do recommend Elk Lake Creek however - great little hike with lots of water access! See Mt. Hood National Forest page for more trail info (which doesn't, at all, mention the current status of the trail).