Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Estacada with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Coldest of blue!

hiking
7 days ago

So the directions take you to Riverside Camp ground which is fine and we started there, but there is a sign just before it’s a small wood sign on a tree and there is a parking lot so if your directions say 1 mile left start looking for the sign. Was a great hike for newbies definitely going back and did not see a waterfall

backpacking
12 days ago

Great hike, great views

The falls are amazing! Very quiet trail...even on the weekend.

Saw a bunch of small snakes too

backpacking
14 days ago

past the half cave a ways there's a split where you have a mini Sandy area into a calm pool of water off the river.
simple trail, not too many inclines.
Well kept unless you keep going to pup falls then there's a bit of overgrowth.

So extremely beautiful!

Such a beautiful blue! fun to see if in the area.

The hike itself was nice and the lake was beautiful.

Unfortunately I have to dock two stars for the awful road getting there. There were potholes the size of sofas for several miles. Maybe about 45 minutes of driving total. The road was also very narrow, and bushes were creeping in from the sides. We scratched up our rental car pretty good, so now we have to wax it before we return it.

Also, and this is no fault of the trail, some terrible camper lit a fire the day before we hiked this trail. They didn't do a good job of containing it and it spread in about 15-20 feet in all directions. They're lucky it didn't start a wildfire in the whole region. My wife and I were both disappointed. Both because of the recklessness, and because we had to hightail it out of there to report it (it was still hot and there's no cell service there).

backpacking
25 days ago

Because I don't have a four-wheel drive vehicle I started at shellrock Lake trailhead and made it a two day hike. The hike up to Fraizer Turnaround is really pleasant and Shellrock Lake was a lovely way to start a hike. My friend and I camped at middle Rock Lake for the night which had quite a few bugs but otherwise was very nice.

The hike to Serene lake the next morning was fun with some challenges like significant elevation gain and navigating lots of fallen trees with a big pack. We only encountered one person and on a Monday in July had the lake to ourselves most of the day.

Serene lake itself is idilic, crystal clear water with a nice open valley to make sweeping views. There are cool rocks in the middle of the lake to play around on and large boulders on the south side of the lake to jump off into the adequately deep water. My friend had some trouble with overly friendly bees but otherwise there were fewer bugs than any of the other lakes.

In summary, the Rock lakes were nice and the camping was comfortable but a day trip to Serene Lake was definitely the highlight of our trip.

The lake is small but incredibly beautiful.

Trail is trashed and unmarked. Shotgun shells, beer cans, and rubber gloves :(

I’d be scared to walk down the trail without hunter orange gear on so people knew where I was.

1 month ago

Gorgeous lake, short trail. It’s a nice walk from here to Timothy Lake.

Good legs workout to the tower, from pansy lake. A dozen or so trees across the trail. Bugs. Gorgeous view at the top.

trail running
1 month ago

Stopped in for travel break on way to Mt Hood. Good 5.5 mile loop for a quick trail run.

trail running
1 month ago

The Alltrails map has some incorrections. First of all, if you stick to the trails that hug the lake, that includes the PCT part, you’ll be doing about 13 miles. Be prepared to go through some campsites, bicycles, and horses on the southern side of the lake. Since I’m a trail runner, I got a lot of strange looks.
Now here’s where it gets tricky. If you are using the red outlined map Alltrails provides, the “old trail 539” has been accommodated for off-road bicycles and isn’t marked as the “old trail” when you’re at the junction. Plus, it added 5 miles to my run, which brought the total to more like 18 instead of the 15 miles that Alltrails has it at. Fortunately, I didn’t see any bicyclists on the old trail, but that may be different on the weekends. It looked like a place for competitive off-road bicycling. It might be smart to check if there’s an event before you take the hike.
A nicer hike would be to start at the Little Crater Lake trailhead, take the “bike” old trail and circle back to the trailhead using the PCT side of the lake. This way you avoid all the campers and day users. Again, make sure there’s no bicycling event.

backpacking
1 month ago

The lake was beautiful, but getting there was rough. Cars with high clearance only. Even then it was a bit sketchy. A lot of fallen trees on the path to scramble over or under as the case may be. But all those obstacles made for a very peaceful evening

Started at 8am on a Saturday and only passed 3 groups of hikers. Falls were very impressive. It really is like Multnomah Falls without the crowds. Good elevation changes. Not too steep. Lots of overgrown bushes so wear something to protect your legs. Saw newts, snakes and elk along the trail. There is some traffic noise along the trail, but don't let that deter you. The sights along the trail far outweigh the traffic noise.

backpacking
1 month ago

I just went for a solo backpacking trip on the west side of the loop. I made it as far as Music Creek. This trail seems moderately trafficked for the first six or seven miles. After that it’s full-on bushwhacking. Many good camping spots along the river are to be found. Saw sign of coyote, deer, bear, cougar, and wolves. The rangers warned of mosquitoes, but they didn’t bother me at all. Ticks were a real problem, though.

:Disclaimer: (My review is for the whole mountain.)
When I was young my family camped near the river in RVs. the road we camped on is now part of the washout and shooting range. But my grandfather took me on long hikes up the mountain roads and trails that run throughout this mountains ridges. I learned to drive, fish, camp, track and hunt on this hill. Now in my 40s I take my own children and wife up here frequently. Often we car camp in one of hundreds of great turn offs and once logged ridges. While I havent hiked to the top of fish creek trail since before the washout in 96, anyone (without small children) who loves to get into the thick and really feel remote should explore this area. Ive found treasures I guard jealously and will never share on this gorgeous hill and so may you. beware of large cats and coyotes. Local tv news tonight says wolves are back.

I was on the hill 2 weeks ago and have been at least 5 times since april. ill be back again in a few days. :)

Ultra short but gorgeous deep blue spring fed pond. Once in a lifetime view. Took the Timothy lake/PCT section trail further to some heavily wooded hiking arriving at the large Timothy lake. Short, easy, flat hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I visited this trail with my family on a rainy June day. It was absolutely beautiful. We saw many newts and even a frog. We stopped at a few points to get close to the Clackamas River. We skipped some rocks and stuck our feet in the cold water. I was grateful to see no trash, and I think we may have been the only people on the trail this day. We did the whole out and back.

This was a nice trail (for the most part), but you never really get away from the highway enough to stop hearing the cars go by, really drowned out the river noise. There’s a large section where you’re hiking directly under some very large power lines and unfortunately takes away from the trail quiet a bit. The waterfall was amazing but this trail wouldn’t be on the top of my list of recommendations for anyone wanting to see waterfalls.

backpacking
2 months ago

This hike is about 13-15 miles around the lake, no significant elevation worth noting and very easy terrain! We hiked around the lake from Little Crater Lake and set up camp at Meditation Point. It was really beautiful and a nice view of the lake! Next time we will definitely take a fishing pole. The next morning we hiked the rest of the way around the lake. Note: Park rangers do come by tent sites (even hike-in sites) to check everyone is following the rules. Trails are maintained well, tent sites were clean and hike-in camp sites are first come first serve but during this weekend we had plenty to choose from!

We passed Little Crater Lake on our way to hike around Timothy Lake. The rating is correct in that the trail is easy - anyone should be able to walk it! The lake is "little" yet deep & beautiful. If you are in the area take a minute to check it out but I wouldn't make a drive out to the Mt. Hood Forest Area just to visit it.

We spent a weekend at the Northern portion of Timothy lake, and hiked there to Little Crater Lake. The hike was wonderful. My grandma in her 70s (I believe) was able to manage the hike (though she's spunky) as well as my 5 year old. We had a good size group and everyone was able to enjoy the hike. Little Crater Lake is a pretty cool phenomenon to see.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful area. I typically prefer my hikes a little further out than this, but wanted something close to take the kids on (6,7, and 9). They all did extremely well, the little elevation gain always helps. The trail was simple, but had quite a bit of changes to break up the monotony for the kiddos. They loved stopping at the fish hatchery and checking it out. The trail is shared with horse riding, and the kids loved looking for horse tracks, and poop. We spent about 20 minutes just sitting at the Clackamas River watching for animals. We saw a Great Blue Heron, and a few other birds.

beautiful area! lots of disc golfing tho, little hard to find the trails for mountain biking. scenery made up for that

backpacking
2 months ago

My sister and I finished hiking this trail two days. We ended up choosing this trail last minute, it's a long story. Anyways, we would consider this trail more than "unmaintained" or "overgrown". For reference, I hunt and forage and spend a lot of time off trail. This was more similar to that experience. We hiked this trail counter-clockwise starting behind the shooting range and ending back up the road a bit. The hike took us two and a half days and we do not walk slow. Day one it took us 11 hours to hike 11 miles and I normally can cover at least 2/hr. There is a lot of bushwhacking and climbing/crawling over and under fallen trees. I cannot say I would recommend this trail in this condition without a machete.

If one were to start at the "end" of the trail and walk out and back about 8 miles it would be a beautiful but overgrown trail. If the trail was maintained (I understand a lack of human power) it would be a great weekend backpack trip that I could recommend to friends. There are some nice views of the valley and of the creek with a lot of evidence of wildlife.

9 miles RT from trailhead to falls. nice elevation intervals, dogs did well except one got lost in the overgrown shrubs at one point. nice flowers, small parking lot.

Spent Tuesday night at the camp and hiked most of the trail — very serene, easy and quiet! Didn’t pass one other person. I’d definitely recommend this as a really decent spot to take a peaceful, easygoing stroll especially with your dog.

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