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

moderate hike, lots of tracks around the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

I came into Horse Lake from the west on the Horse Creek Trail (3514) out of McKenzie Bridge - about a 13 mile hike (one way). After an initial 3 mile, 1,500 ft climb along Roney Creek, the trail is fairly level and is a pretty "green tunnel" kind of hike thru the forest. The trail gets little use so it could also use some maintenance before it disappears. There is also no water after mile 5 so fill up at the Separation Creek intersection. The skeeters were pretty bad - especially at the lake - to the point you are confined to your tent. You should definitely wait until late August or Sept to tackle this one. From Horse Lake, I did the loop down to Elk Lake - it kind fun to have a big fat juicy burger right in the middle of a backpacking trip!

Firstly, this map is not accurate. The hike has you ending at a campground, on the other side of the road from the lake. The hot springs are right along the lake side. You can park .1 mike from the hot springs at Hot Springs Boat Ramp. Secondly, the walk along the trail from the other boat ramp/campground was silly. If you want the walk then walk along the lake shore.

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of mosquitoes out today and we missed the trail we meant to take so ended up on the 8.6 mile hike. Beautiful forest with some lovely wildflowers and a swim in the lake was nice but - when you are expecting a 4 mile hike and end up with an 8.6 mile fight with mosquitoes - it can be disappointing.. Probably won’t do it again anytime soon.

backpacking
2 months ago

It was a fantastic trip do you only thing I would recommend taking this trip in July is lots of mosquito repellent

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail that is lightly used even during peak times. Lots of mosquitos though

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked to Mink Lake in late June, on a sunny and only slightly breezy day.

I mentioned the breeze because the combination of June and countless lakes, ponds, bogs, etc ,makes for legions of mosquitoes and other assorted "bugs". I came prepared with Deet and a mosquito net; both were put to constant and good use!

There is ample parking (plus a pit toilet) at the trailhead. The trail sign say "SIX LAKES TRAIL" and mentions Doris Lake, Blow Lake and the junction with the PCT at 6 miles (both heading out and coming back, this section barely clocked at 5.5 miles).

As others have mentioned, the trail (or trails) are well graded and well maintained (even if vegetation was encroaching in places around Mink lake). The whole route is pretty much going through forested areas and I did not have to worry about sunscreen (stopping in open areas for a while may change that). The elevation profile shows that the first section (from parking lot to PCT) is a long and sustained ascent (3+ miles) followed by a 1.5 miles drop to the PCT junction.

At the PCT, I deviated from the direct route and continued west on the PCT to visit Horseshoe lake (instead of heading directly to Porky lake). This brought the total distance out-and-back to just short of 21 miles. On this bright sunny June Saturday, I only met two other people during the course of the 11 hours on the trail; both were PCT section hikers on their way north. No campers, no one fishing. This does not appears to be a high traffic area -- it could also be because there are really not many "views" to speak of beyond the lakes and a few and brief views of the Sisters and Bachelor.

Mink Lake is definitely worth the visit. It feels like a "little Waldo" - minus the crowds -- with deep clean waters, forested shores, a trail along its shoreline. There are a few primitive, but very good, campsites just off the trail (there might be more if you go a bit off trail but I did not check). The size of the lake and the lay of the land did allow for an afternoon breeze to come through and push the mosquitoes away. There is an old shelter, quite dilapidated, on the southeast corner of the lake, with camping spots around too (the shelter itself does not offer much with half the roof gone and only two walls standing.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike. There before the bugs hatch. Had to turn around at the river. Running too fast and it was 36 degrees out. Plan on bringing some kind of shoe for fording across. One of my favorite hikes. Snow free to the river.

hiking
3 months ago

I wouldn't call this trail hard. Not more than moderate, possibly easy. Mom and I had a great time hiking all the way to Senoj, stopping for significant photo opps at both Doris Lake and Blow Lake. There was hardly anyone else there when we went. It's hard to turn around and go back when you know there is even more awesome wilderness scenery to see farther along the trail. Apparently we went early enough in June to avoid the mosquitoes.

lots of mosquitos A LOT. bring bug spray. plus side is we had the whole trail to ourselves aswell as the lake. bears are there btw we had one walk into our campsite at 2 am. friendly and left once it noticed us

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail; runs through a small patch of lava flow near the beginning, then hits the creek. You have to ford the creek before climbing up to some gorgeous views!

backpacking
4 months ago

Was a good trail, a little on the dusty side and was a little crowded by Cultus lake but once I got into the wilderness area it was a beautiful hike to a nice campsite over looking winopee lake

backpacking
Monday, September 18, 2017

Awesome lake! Super pristine water and not a terrible climb to get there. We actually backpacked in with the intent of camping at Cliff Lake, but there wasn't a decent place close to the lake to camp, so we continued to Porky Lake and did Mink Lake as a day hike. Next time I'll skip Porky and head right to Mink Lake.

Just follow along the shore if you're trying to reach the springs, you will have to scale some rocks and it can get dicey if you're trying to reach the main hot pool. There are smaller pools that are about half way along the shore from the boat ramp, but they were a little murky. There is also a strong sulfur smell!

backpacking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Mink Lake is a beautiful location. The hike in is equally impressive, high desert, lakes, meadows, long ascents and descents, and quiet. We encountered three groups on our hike, all on the trail. The lake was cool, refreshing, and crystal clear. We tried our hands at fishing, and despite seeing them rise we had no luck. Mosquitos were brutal on the hike and at the lake so plan on taking some form of repellant. We used spray and the sweating caused it to wear off quite quickly. Despite the bites I will be visiting Mink Lake again in the near future with our son.

hiking
Monday, July 24, 2017

Went out to blow this weekend. A few mosquitos on the trail, but none on the lake. Nice and quiet.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23, 2017: great overall hike; respectable elevation gain; we went 5 miles out and 5 miles back, turning back at sign to Green Lakes; trip can be extended to Broken Top, Todd Lake, as well as completed as longer loop via Green Lakes; perfect access to water for dogs; relatively easy water crossing, but rocks are slippery when wet; view are great, which begin after a couple miles; park at Green Lakes TH; we completed 10 miles in 3.5 hours. Cheers.

backpacking
Friday, July 21, 2017

We stopped a Dorris lake for a couple of nights in mid July. The hike was very easy. LOTS of mosquitos. We used lots of deet and mosquito head nets, still got bit. Lake has a few views, I found best from hiking to South end of lake or swimming to middle. Lake was perfect temp. I saw a few fish jumping too far to reach with my setup. Wish I had a float tube. Lake had a shallow rocky/sandy long shelf all around lake. A couple of really good campsites on back side of lake, trail is a bit difficult to follow around lake, but well worth extra privacy. Bring lots of deet, head nets, and bite cream! We hid in tent in the morning and evenings.

on Horse Lake Trail

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tried to stay overnight at the lake last weekend but the mosquitoes swarmed us starting about halfway to the lake, just west of the PCT junction. There were patches of snow and one big wet spot about where the mosquitoes started getting bad. It was a beautiful area and would have been a great trip if it weren't for the biters. We ended up turning back at the lake and hike most of the way back to the trailhead before setting up for the night. When we stopped the mosquitoes had died down, but when it started getting dark they returned and we hid away in the tent. Come morning we packed up quick and got outta there.

All in all it wasn't a great experience, but like I said it was a beautiful location. I suggest a different time of year maybe (we went early July). At least bring tons of bug spray, it won't stop them from swarming but may keep bites to a minimum.

hiking
Thursday, July 06, 2017

MOSQUITOS! Lots of stagnant pools. Wasn't prepared for that or the heat...Only made it 1 1/2 miles & turned back. Eaten alive! :)

hiking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Great easy day hike. Pristine lakes.

hiking
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

major mosquitos, too much snow to even get to 2nd lake. and hot, hot, weird day but flat, nice trail

backpacking
Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's Memorial Day weekend and there is too much snow still just past Lucky Lake. Wasn't able to find trail

camping
Monday, May 15, 2017

We love Horse Lake. It's an easy pack in and there are great camping spots around the lake. There are usually a few day hikers that come through but overall it's a pretty quiet trail.

hiking
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I started at the Cultus Lake trailhead for the Winopee Lake trail. Beautiful spots along the trail to jump into Cultus lake. Trail is dense forest and very dusty. I turned off of the Winopee lakes trial to go to Teddy Lakes. I did not track it but guess it was about 9 miles out and back. I highly recommend Teddy Lakes. Beautiful secluded lake. Train ends but about 300 feet east along the lake is a site all prepped for backpacking. Awesome swim!!!

This is a pretty lousy hike. The trail you are taking is actually the Newberry Crater Trail. Referring to this as "East Lake Hot Springs" is confusing, because there's actually no signage anywhere using that name. And the trail doesn't have anything to do with the springs, either; it takes you near the hot springs, but doesn't go to them. If that's what you're looking for, it will be a shorter hike and you'll need to divert off the path. The first portion of the hike is through nice forest area, then travels past an obsidian flow and into what we were told was an abandoned campground. From there, you're just following along under powerlines the rest of the way. No views to speak of, unless you scramble up the hill to the top of the obsidian flows which provides a nice view of East Lake. Not worth it, though, when there are so many better hikes in the area.

hiking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Beautiful, varying scenery through woods and meadows and nothing beats arriving at the lake itself for a nice, private swim before you head back. Beware mosquitos and horse flies for the 20-30 minutes nearest the lake.

Fun little in and out overnighter to Doris lake..Made great time getting in and out. Had the 8 year old in tow and he crushed it:) Lots of mosquitos out in full force. Opted out of hammock camping and decided on the tent instead. Recommend going out a little later on in the fall, less bugs and less trail traffic. Great spot to watch the stars and sun rise over the lake.

backpacking
Monday, August 01, 2016

We hiked into Doris Lake for a night. Continued on to Mink Lake after reaching the PCT junction and spent a night at the Mink Lake shelter. Took the return route up to Cliff Lake and would have been happier to have spent the night there, but the lake was pretty crowded. We ended up hiking back to Doris and then out the next day. Many misquotes, as to be expected, and many other hikers. This is a good trail system with lots of options of beautiful swimmable lakes!

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