Explore the most popular lake 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.

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
5 days 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.

hiking
11 days ago

This hike is awesome. I can understand lacking motivation to do it since you can also drive to the top, and tons of people do that very thing. Nevertheless, there are views along the hiking trail that cannot be seen any other way than hiking the trail. I'm talking awesome views! Well worth the steep climb up. I see no reason to start at Paulina Lake along the Crater Rim Trail as this route suggests. Drive 0.7 miles on the road toward Paulina Peak, and you will find a gravel parking area and trailhead. The section of trail from the lake not very interesting anyway. From the trailhead mentioned, it is two miles up and two miles back for a total of four miles. On your way up, watch for side trails to huge rocks. These side trails offer some awesome view angles. Be very careful though! Don't let small children play close to the cliff edges. I don't recommend climbing the huge rocks that jut out. It's tempting, but they are vertical climbs and dangerously situated on the edge of doom below. Just get close enough to the rocks to snap photos of the lakes below or of Paulina Peak above (the trail's destination).

backpacking
11 days ago

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

hiking
12 days ago

Solid hike, intense incline, and amazing views!! You can cut the first 1.5 miles through the flat wooded area and start at the actual trailhead. It's about .3 miles up the main Paulina Peak car road, and there's a parking lot on the right. It's 2 miles up with about 1400 incline from this point.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice easy hike. Super super buggy.

Meh.. it’s pretty and the water is beautiful but the bugs were OUT OF CONTROL! So many nats and mosquitos. The “hot springs” are saying it nicely... they’re shallow but do provide a lot of heat.

hiking
17 days ago

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

Fun trail with great views of the lake. Definitely recommend starting early and wearing solid hiking shoes as some of the terrain can get a bit sketchy. Otherwise very easy for pros, maybe a little challenging for novices. Took about 3 hours.

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.

While not much elevation gain/loss, there is varied terrain throughout this hike. Dirt, rock, gravel, sand; need to watch your footing as it's easy to trip. The views around the lake are gorgeous. I recommend starting your hike about 10 - 11 am, hike to the hot springs on the edge of the lake (about halfway around and marked), each lunch and relax, then finish.

I've hiked quite a few trails around Central Oregon and really enjoyed this one. Would do again.

The lake was pretty, but it was congested with campers. The views of the lake were the same the whole trail.

Cool hike but the view was the same throughout it.

great hike! Hiked at night with headlamps with a few other friends. if you know the trail well enough, you can find the natural hot springs! very cool.

hiking
1 month 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

The trail was absolutely beautiful and the views were great. The only downside was that there were not many signs to the trailhead and it took a bit to find. Other than that, great hike. Would hike again.

hiking
1 month ago

First time on this trail, I will be back, has some steeper grades but then will give you a flatter section, or a spot to stop to take in the views on the way up. The views are amazing. The trail is great for those looking for a fitness hike/run. Good variation in terrain makes for a fun descent from the top. We parked at the lake and crossed the street. Small bit of manageable snow up at the top.

Easy loop trail around the lake. Views are spectacular. Water on the far side of the lake is emerald green. Could sit and look at Paulina peak for a long time. Weather cooperated in a beautiful 65 degree cloudless way. Saw a soaring bald eagle and several osprey.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views. Very small patches of snow. Can see from Washington to California mountains.

on Lucky Lake Trail

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike. Yes, mosquitoes are out. Trail actually loops North for some distance and switches back to the South before heading West up to the lake (not directly West and up across the contour lines as shown on the map.) 5-6 rather clear areas to pitch a tent for the night, or find rather flat ground on the west side of the lake if they're occupied. Several people were fishing, including us, but no one seemed to have any luck. People were catching a lot of trout at Lava Lake.

backpacking
2 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

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great short hike with options to go further along the 6 Lake trail. It’s open now and the gate is open- from the south (La Pine). There is a bit of snow. I’d recommend poles and hiking boots right now.

this trail IS NOT open until end of may. beautiful area but gate closed and still a ton of snow

hiking
2 months ago

Stopped in with kiddos over the weekend for a quick walk. Saw cougar track and scat in the middle of the trail! Back to the car we went!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike in Oregon's "Other Crater Lake" area. Great views along the hike, especially of an immense lava flow below.

snowshoeing
9 months ago

Fresh powder brings a chance to snowshoe up Paulina peak and take in one of the best views in central Oregon.
Great cascade views from Mt Adams all the way to Mt Mcloughlin are your reward for this short, steep hike. The first summit, while not the highest has the best view into the cascades. Dozens of small cinder cones rise from the volcanic plain surrounding Newberry Crater and the view of the lakes is awesome too

hiking
9 months ago

Light dusting of snow and a cold brisk wind made for a quiet and peaceful hike. Good grunt but well worth it.

backpacking
10 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

Nothing spectacular, just a good long day hike! We started by the little store and had about 17 miles of mostly uphill hiking before a 4 mile downhill. Views were hindered by smoke as well.

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