Explore the most popular lake trails in Mt. Hood National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day ago

This was my first backpacking trip, able to do it solo and test out all my gear. Not too strenuous, very mild elevation gain. Still a decent amount of snow around the lake in mid May, some of the campsites were unusable.

I hiked this today after cycling all the way up from estacada- great workout if crowds bum you out this place is for you not another person anywhere!

Road and trail open. :)

Road still closed and has about 6 inches of snow most of the way. Not many people there. Lots of trash and dog poop, please pick up after yourself!

hiking
14 days ago

I tried to get up to welcome lakes but didn’t feel
Like climbing over anymore logs on this day and a t storm was brewing. Still a nice hike, elk creek is beautiful and the burn areas are very interesting to look at

So disappointed road in was snowed in. No access to vehicles... and 2 mile hike in was too much for you group. Will have to visit again later in the season.... One thing that salvaged our drive up was a great shot of a snow-covered Mt. Hood

Awesome trail. Had to wait about 45 minutes for the hot spring but was worth it. Also note we went during the fall and there seemed to be less "party goers".

Great hike with a stunning view of Mount Hood at the loop.
There is still a lot of snow on the ground (4/25) which made the hike a little more challenging. It was pretty easy to walk through except round the loop it was very deep but there were previous footprints that helped. The lake was mostly covered in snow so you don’t get the reflection of the mountain, I saw just a but in one melted spot.
You need to park down the road at the skibowl. The app took me to a parking lot right by the trailhead but there were no parking signs there. Walking down the highway was pretty unpleasant, especially on the way back when I was tired, but I will def come back and do this one for the full view in the summer.

The Bagby hot springs are best described by the pile of strawberry mixed drink vomit that we had to avoid on the trail. 5 Star out and back trail with a -3 Stars for the hepatitis tubs.

Trail is gorgeous. Hot springs are not. Trash everywhere, graffiti, broken glass, etc. We were there mid week and saw three or four other parties in the afternoon heading up there but no line. April 23, 2018. We were very glad we had set low expectations going in because upon seeing the conditions of the springs you could not have paid me to get into them. Vomit on the trail to boot. Three star rating for the hike, but if you’re looking for a relaxing, hygienic soak, this may not be the dream spot you have in mind.

22 April
No snow in the parking lot at the trail head. The trail was packed snow pretty much the whole way to the lake. The East side of the lake the trail was a series of post holes. No snowshoes needed but traction of some sort is really helpful.
I would also be wary of hiking in the afternoon, since some of the slopes will have gotten sun and softened up making them more slippery.
But the lake does provide an amazing view of Mt. Hood.

hiking
1 month ago

Had no idea there was still this much snow and would be so few people. only saw 2 people on the whole trail. had thought this was heavily traveled and never been to the area so went in hiking boots and sneakers. some parts of the trail leading to the lake were a foot or two deep if you step in the wrong spot. up at the lake you might drop 3 or 4. luckily someone had snow shoed before us so we tried to use their tracks but it was very slow going and lots of falling through. very hard to find the trail around the lake, which is still frozen over and covered in snow. it was surprisingly challenging with trekking through such deep snow.

this place was absolutely mind blowing though and so serene without anyone else around. best hike ever.

also note you need to park at snow bowl and walk half a mile on the fairly dangerous highway.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this hike in early June 2017. FANTASTIC Hike and over the course of 5 days, we saw only 3 people. Beautiful rugged area and we had the entire lake to ourself. We caught several trout which we released for future hikers to enjoy Very windy the first day and night but only added to the excitement. Love this place and it exceeded all expectations!

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorites

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Took the Red Meadow trail from the bottom of the parking lot. Spectacular little less traveled, unpacked connector to the Trillium Lake road. Main trail was well packed and easily traveled without snowshoes. Gorgeous easy trail!

Total distance from parking lot to and back was about 5 miles. Distance listed is for the Lake Loop only so be prepared for double depending on route. What we walked was the Lake road. The trail loop indicated in this file is the low trail at the lake's edge.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! super beautiful with all the fallen trees!

Hiked on 3/16...beautiful day with fresh powder, some sun and light snow. Trail is well marked, both lakes absolutely gorgeous. Did not see one person the entire hike. Clocked 10 Miles and took us 5 hours, 15 minutes with a small lunch break at Upper Lake.

This is a well maintained trail, but a hard uphill climb. My two cents:
1. to find the trailhead, go to the right after the Riley Horse Camp. The trailhead parking is wash out, so when you hit the end of the road, the trail is about 200 yards, off to your left. You will see a small trail leading over to the actual trail head from the end of the road.
2. Parking,- do not park at the end to the road (very tight space) If you go about 100 yds back, there is an open meadow area that works great for parking Last resort, go back to the Horse camp and hike-in the extra mile.
3. Horse Camp = lots of horse poop on trail. Just be careful where you step.
4. You will cross a creek about 1 mile into the trail. That is your last water until you get to Cast Lake.
5. At the top of this mountain, there is a awesome view of four mountains (Hood, Adams, St. Helens, and Rainier) I almost missed this view because I was exhausted from the climb up the trail. Just walk a few steps to the north, when you get to the top.
6. Cast Lake is awesome. Eight camp sites along the North and West side. Some are 50 yards up along the lake rig. Worth the hike.
7. You will find mosquitos, but when I sat right next to the lake, there were no mosquitos. I have no idea why, but it was nice to sit in the morning and have bug-free coffee.

We chose a beautiful day to snow shoe. Easy hike.

A nice easy loop. Beautiful scenic views of the lake and Mt. Hood.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Love this hike all year round! Snowshoed yesterday and after all the snow this past weekend the trail is gorgeous! Brought two dogs with me who also had a blast. Parked at skibowl and walked along the road to get to the trailhead, which isn’t ideal, but it’s well worth it!

One my my favorites! A little bit of a steep hike up the first part, but beautiful!

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Great hike but we parked at ski bowl, we weren’t sure if parking was closed or not by hike, some people parked there but there were no parking signs close.
We took of our snowshoes for most of the hike

Such an inspiring place to be, silence and serenity and freezing temperatures. Luckily the sun welcomed us at Lost Lake.
We had to park our car 3 miles down the mountain because of snow. But it was worth the hike.

Due to snow we had too park our car 3 miles down the lake...Next time we will hike this trail. Instead we hike up to Lost Lake and had an amazing time there.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail from the lake up to the mountain is completely snow covered.

hiking
3 months ago

Came up here with the intention of getting as close to Elk Lake as my 4x4 could make it in the snow then hiking the rest of the way in. I literally got to the trailhead and had to park it. Still a good hike and a decent workout. Made it all the way into Elk Lake in about 1.5 hours. Vehicle tracks all the way up. The lake was sufficiently frozen over otherwise I would've tried to fish. The snow on the road was wet and pretty slippery. You won't need snowshoes unless it's new powder. Otherwise, I suggest bringing a pair of Yaktraks or low profile crampons. A little overkill but it was exhausting slipping every step. The views along the first 1.5 miles are pretty nice.

great trail. was there today, sunny and a little chilly. amazing and beautiful!

Pretty spot with minimal hiking. Nice to swim in the lake during the summer months, however I've only visited once and didn't get to explore more of the area surrounding.

This place is so gorgeous it looks even prettier with the snow everywhere loved it!!

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