Pamelia Lake Trail

moderate 108 reviews

Pamelia Lake Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Idanha, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.4 miles Elevation Gain: 784 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

In addition to a parking fee, a wilderness permit is required for day and overnight use. Bookings must be purchased in advance at recreation.gov or Detroit Ranger Station. Summer weekends book up months in advance, so plan ahead.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great, relaxed hike! Amazing forest trail with beautiful vegetation and a crazy Hobbit like feel; see for yourself. Recommend for all hikers as a quick out and back that offers a quiet rest at the destination with many great places to pitch a tent or hang a hammock along the way if desired. I will be back.

This is one of those beautiful Oregon trails where you if you zig when you should have zagged you will end up on another completely beautiful trail with different views! From hiking through a beautiful forested area in the understory with waterfalls and creeks galore to passing through a burnt out area that is slowly regrowing, you are surrounded by the various views of what nature has to offer. With my late start and actually hiking onto the 'wrong' trail twice, I didn't make it to my end of the first day destination. But, this means that I can always head backout and do this trail again and get to it! With the many different trail intersections, and the massive amounts of water; even in the brunt out areas, there is no need for a heavy water carry if you plan on filtering along the way! Just go out and enjoy some beautiful trail!

hiking
6 months ago

Trail was in excellent condition. Weather was great. Bugs weren’t bad at all. Chipmunks at campsites at Pamelia lake are used to humans and chewed right through a couple of our packs to get to our food. I would suggest having some sort of hard container to keep you food in. We also hike the grizzly peak trail and saw an owl and a yearling black bear!

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike with lots of water. Easy enough for kids to enjoy.

hiking
8 months ago

Great for younger kids. More of the spots are being designated as “No Camp Fire” camping spots. Kind of a bummer. I hope they don’t ban camp fires there.

hiking
8 months ago

Trail to Pamelia Lake is free of snow.

10 months ago

We hiked this trail on April 21, 2019. The snow was still quite deep on the whole trail. However, the river running along the trail was gorgeous and the lake view was stunning.

hiking
blowdown
off trail
snow
10 months ago

Hiked on 20 April 2019. Turned back after 1.5 miles because the snow was so deep that I kept losing the trail, and I didn't want to damage the fragile-looking plants. The trail is stunningly beautiful -- old growth along a river, at least as far as we got. I can't wait to go back. (edit) Went back 5 May 2019, the snow was gone, and we completed the hike easily. Still stunningly beautiful. Many thanks to whoever found my dog's spare "hiking leash" from the 20th and left it on a log near the trail head. This might be my new favorite place to hike in Oregon.

Sat Oct 20 2018

This is a nice hike, be sure to get a pass online before you show up! There are rangers along the hike that will be asking. The fall colors were pretty. It was a bit cloudy when I went so I was unable to see the mountain but overall a decent hike - not crowded.

hiking
Sat Sep 01 2018

It was a nice easy well marked about 5 mile hike. It was a beautiful forest. The lake was very low and that allowed you to see rocks that had some interesting stripes. For needing a special use permit I expected something much more spectacular and/or unique.

backpacking
Tue Aug 21 2018

Easy, gentle incline up to Pamelia Lake. Lake is almost empty. Only ~5 campsites occupied on a Friday night. Grizzly Peak trail had gorgeous views, but watch out for yellow jackets on the trail! Swarming by the dozens - I was stung twice.

backpacking
Tue Aug 21 2018

Nice hike through old growth forest and along creek. Great water sources for filtering. Great road to trail head. Only 3 of the 12 lakeside campsites occupied on a Tuesday night, 8/14/18. Water level down in Pamelia Lake, deepest part of lake about 12 inches deep.

Thu Aug 16 2018

Nice trail, view of mount Jefferson was amazing!

hiking
Fri Jul 20 2018

Beautiful trail beside Pamelia Creek transports you to the small lake. Went in on a Thursday and there were open campsites. Ranger mentioned they would post at the trailhead if there are any known algae bloom issues which there none. There a posting of a cougar siting south of Pamelia Lake on July 5th, 2018.

Wed Jul 11 2018

very family and pet friendly walk. great scenery and wildlife. The creek was outstanding beauty. Once at the lake we watched the osprey dive repeatingly from the air into the water and come up with a fish. Once in a lifetime moment. hour and a half walk each way.

Wed Jul 11 2018

This was a fairly easy trail alongside a creek that featured white water and mini waterfalls. The lake and mountain were stunning and I could not stop staring at the perfect reflection of the mountain in the water. This made for a great half-day hike.

hiking
Tue May 15 2018

What a great hike ,,thanks to Nicole and kujo..I had a great trip with them ,,beautiful Oregon, ,

hiking
Sun May 13 2018

Good trail. Very family friendly. There is a gradual grade but nothing too crazy. Snow still dots the ground past the lake. Official camp sites seemed crowded.

backpacking
Mon Apr 23 2018

went 4/22, still a decent amount of snow on the trail. Gaiters needed, but no snow shoes to reach the lake. some clearing to set up a tent on the shore.

Thu Jan 25 2018

Great for families and their first-time backpacking trips

hiking
Mon Oct 16 2017

Hard to beat this hike through the wilderness forest. The first mile was clear; the upper portion had a fair bit of snow on it from this year's early snowfall. The lake was beautiful. And went beyond the lake to the PCT, as far as Moon Creek, which is right at the base of Mt. Jefferson--stunning!

hiking
Thu Jul 27 2017

Unsure of why exactly this trail is rated as difficult, the hike leading to Pamelia Lake specifically is pretty laid back. This was my first solo day-hike, maybe it's difficult with backpacking gear. Elevation gain is very minimal and spread nicely throughout the ~2.5 miles to the destination. Maybe I just went at a good time in the season. I did this beautiful hike 2 days ago after learning that the Whitewater trailhead to Jefferson was blocked off due to a fire. Evidence of that fire was definitely clear, I could smell smoke during the hike and I could see it like hazy fog over the lake/surrounding mountains. Pamelia lake is so relaxing, I didn't get the chance to do the Grizzly Peak or Hunt's Creek trailheads but I will definitely be back soon with my friends! Lots of butterflies.

fishing
Sun Jun 04 2017

Took a Saturday and went up there. Hiking was great however fishing not so much. Hard to gain access to lake because of thick and down vegetation. Based on pictures looks like lake was high and is usually lower than what we experienced. Those who have a small raft or waders may have a better shot. Spoke with local who had been coming up there for many many years and said lake is not stocked therefore fish populations declining rapidly. Overalls awesome hike and scenery but bummer on the fishing

hiking
Sun May 21 2017

The road off 22 to get the to the trailhead was in much better shape than expected. Great, relaxing hike. Forest Ranger was roping off sections of the Lake to allow for habitat restoration. Hike only had snow the last 1/2 mile or so to the lake, hardback, minimal post-holing.

Sun May 21 2017

Beautiful hike even with the bit of snow still left in the trail. Highly recommended for families.

hiking
Sat Apr 29 2017

About 75% of the trail still has snow, makes it a little harder walking, but certainly manageable. Especially on a clear sunny day like today when I was dying for the view at Pamelia Lake. It was stunning!

Fri Nov 18 2016

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

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