Cast Creek Trail to Cast Lake

MODERATE 12 reviews
#60 of 139 trails in

Cast Creek Trail to Cast Lake is a 13.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rhododendron, Oregon that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

13.2 miles
3310 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



trail running




Directions from Sandy: Travel east on Highway 26 to Zigzag. Turn left (north) at the Zigzag store onto Lolo Pass Road, following it four miles to East Mountain Drive, located on the right side of the road. Follow East Mtn Dr. for 0.6 miles. The trailhead for the Zigzag Mountain Trail #775 is on the left (northeast) side of the road with limited parking available. Follow this trail to Cast Lake Trail.

9 days ago

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.

2 months ago

This trail combined with Horseshoe ridge makes a great long day horseback ride. I take the Cast lake trail into the lake ( short detour), have lunch, & head back on Horseshoe which comes out near Riley horse camp. There is a small tough rock scramble on top of Horseshoe, but not as bad as some people make it seem. Shoes are required on this trail.

7 months ago

Tough hike - out is nearly all uphill. Total distance is more like 11-12 miles. Lots of flies at/near the lake.

7 months ago

I don't think I would do this one again. It was pretty tough for my 16yr old and I. All trails says 9.5 miles but it was actually more like 13.5 round trip from where we parked. Beautiful views when you reach the top, right before Cast Lake. Mosquitos and Flies were annoying right before the lake but were not to bad at the camp spot we found. I would recommend bringing enough water for your hike up. As a beginner at hiking/backpacking this hike challenged us the entire way up.

Monday, September 26, 2016

we started our hike at the hoarse camp. And ended the hike at Cast lake for the night...The view changes alot as you hike the distance. Maps say its about 5 miles, but VERY incorrect!!! its actually 7.6 miles. Its 90% up hill all the way there with some very steep climbs as well. It will defently test your desire to get to the top. Once your at the top, the views of the mountains are amazing...from there is a 30 minute hike to the lake

Monday, April 18, 2016

Great hike, not too difficult. I wasn't sure where the trail started its down a ways from where you park.
Mileage is definitely around the 10 mark for length. There was too much snow to even get to the peak destination unfortunately. I did get a good view of Mt Hood and Mt Adams though!

The scenery changes, and it's neat to see how much sunlight affects the types of plants and organisms!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The lake is actually 7 miles away from where you park. Also the rest ad is treacherous. Especially if you have to pass someone along it. Nerves and buns of steel for this hike/drive!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The mileage listed here isn't correct - the trail from Riley Horse Camp to Cast Lake is about 7.6 miles one way. The trail has a nice flat surface as it is also a horse trail. We hiked up Horseshoe Ridge Trail, camped at Cast Lake and hiked down Cast Creek Trail. The view from the top of the Cast Creak Trail ridge is amazing with at least 4 mountain peaks viewable on clear day (Mt Rainer, Mt Adams, Mt Saint Helens, and Mt Hood). The Cast Creek Trail isn't too difficult and much shorter than Horseshoe. Cast Creek didn't have snow in early June, but there was snow around the lake in small patches, and large patches of deep snow if you hike up Horseshoe Ridge Trail from Cast Lake.

8 months ago

9 months ago

Thursday, August 11, 2016