Summary: The trail to Memaloose Lake is an easy uphill hike that is perfect for the whole family including the dog. It winds through a beautiful old growth forest with plenty of shade for those hot summer days.
The trail crosses 3 or 4 small streams where your dog can get a drink even in the driest months. If you're hiking during the right time of year you can enjoy the huckleberries that are plentiful along the trail.
Although the trail is generally in very good condition, there are a few areas that have lots of roots and rocks. These could make the trail a little difficult for all but the more experienced mountain biker.
Once at the lake you will find many good camping areas if you'd like to spend the night. There are rough trails that lead part way around the lake in both directions. If you go around to the right and head over toward the rockfall area, you will see LOTS of salamanders swimming in the water. To the left you will find a marshy area.
Trailhead: To get to the trailhead go east on State Hwy. 224. Go about 10 miles east of Estacada and turn right on Memaloose Rd., a one-lane paved road with lots of wide spots. You'll come to an intersection after about 3.5 miles. Go straight. About 7 miles from Hwy. 224 a road splits off to the left. Go to the right. When you are almost 11.5 miles from 224 turn right. The pavement ends, but the gravel road is in good condition. The trailhead is on the right about 1 mile past the end of the pavement. (Lat:45.09997 Lon:-122.21838)
Trail Guides for Memaloose Lake Trail No. 515:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Mt. Hood National Forest; Estacada Ranger Station; (503) 630-8700
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Rick Jacobson, who has posted 1 other hike on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Casey M on 4/2/2013
My family and I love coming here to hike and camp. But. last time we camped something strange happened. after bedding down for the my wife and I were laying in the tent when we heard something large enter the lake from the grassy side and proceeded to swim in the lake. we did not get out of the tent to try and see, we only heard it. Its strange because except for some deer mice and birds it seems to be cocompletely void of life up there?!?
Reviewed by Murphy on 7/5/2011
Went here on a hot summer day with 4 boys ranging from 8-12years old. The trail was a little steeper than my 8 year old liked, an adventurous child would love it. Lots to trip on so be careful. Bring a net to catch the Salamanders as there are so many. There is a lot of muddy sediment so bring your water socks and a bag to carry them back in. I saw a couple of interesting camp sites to the left when you get to the lake. You don't need to bring your own wood. If you can, bring a raft... this lake is perfect for lazing on a raft. On the drive up to the trailhead you will pass three different spots for shooting guns. The trailhead is 11 miles from 224. The hike is just over a mile up. Took about 45mins up and 35 mins down. Enjoy!
Reviewed by KF on 7/24/2010
We arrived at 11 am, with no other cars around. The hike starts out impressive, and stays that way the entire length to Moon Lake. The towering old-growth trees surrounded us in a welcome canopy of cool green shade. The small creek crossings provided the soothing sounds of water. The lake is small, but beautiful, tucked up against a rock slide, its edges lined with stately firs. Water access is easy (our dog took a refreshing dip!). Salamanders by the hundreds floated effortlessly just beneath the water's surface. For conditioning or a quick getaway, this trail was ideal. Just be aware that the road is narrow, lumpy, and well-traveled. Proceed with caution !
Reviewed by Pat M on 7/21/2010
This was such a disappointment. It would be a good idea to take the pickup because the paved road has a major fault that would have torn the bottom of my Taurus. We had to turn around before we even saw the gravel road.
Reviewed by jsf on 5/18/2010
Great directions ^^ but the trailhead is on the LEFT. I'm not much of a real hiker and might have missed the unmarked trail if I hadn't already seen a photo of it.
Reviewed by Helly Betty on 5/17/2010
Beautiful. Some snow on trail but about a foot at the lake. The lake is still almost completely frozen, very shallow, no fish. Streams are running high. Next time I'll wear boots, pretty muddy. Was very private, didn't see anybody out there on a early Sunday evening. Great run for my dog. I'll go camp out there next time I go. Do your part, Pack in & Pack out. Please keep it clean....
Reviewed by Bryan on 5/4/2010
Lots of traffic, great camping spots, short hike to the ridge from the camping area. Hiked with our dogs, they had a great time.
Reviewed by bw on 12/22/2009
i hikle this trail as a warm up for a three day hike on the pacific crest trail and i loved it. everything was going great until i woke up with two inches of water in my tent frm the rain during the night. haha. but i am interested in going back and packing a small fishing pole for some fun during the summer but we'll see
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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