Summary: Mirror Lake is a staple of casual hiking in the Portland/Mt. Hood area. It's right on Hwy. 26 so it's easily accessed, it's a fairly easy hike, and you get to see a very nice lake. Kids wil enjoy this hike, and if you plan ahead they can wade in the lake when you get there. The trail is wide enough in most places to walk side-by-side with a friend, though it can be dusty. When you get to a point just below the lake you can take the loop trail in either direction. Taking the trail to the right connects you to another trail up Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain. This is also the direction to go if you want to get to the view of Mt. Hood quickly. You can camp at designated sites around the lake, though on a busy day you'll have plenty of visitors by your spot. Kids can wade, throw rocks, look for crawdads and just be kids while you sit and talk with family or friends. We did this walk 12-14 years ago when the kids were little, and they had just as much fun as teenagers.
Trailhead: If you've driven over Mt. Hood you've seen the trailhead - it's on the right or south side of the road as you go east on a big bend just before Ski Bowl. It's a few miles above Rhododendron and just 2 or 3 miles below Government Camp. Mt. Hood is only 50 miles from Portland. A Northwest Forest pass is required to park at this trailhead. Buy the annual pass for $30.00 - otherwise pay $5.00 for a day pass. (Lat:45.30631 Lon:-121.7917)
Trail Guides for Mirror Lake, near Government Camp on Mt. Hood:
Pacific Northwest Hiking 1000 Hikes in OR and WA
by Ron C. Judd and Dan A. Nelsen (Avalon Travel Publishing)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Zigzag Ranger Station: (503) 622-3191
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Steve Snyder, who has posted 13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Viewer on 8/19/2016
This was a great hike! Nice, easy for all ages and 4 legged friends. And the view of Mt.Hood against Mirror Lake was picturesque!
Reviewed by JP on 11/4/2014
I hiked up there with my girlfriend late in the evening on a full moon. We camped at the lake's edge enjoying the view of the moon reflecting in the lake itself-just beautiful. Then out of the blue came this eerie howl -one that I never have heard before-it sent chills into our bodies and we looked at each other and said what the heck was that?? I said bigfoot, she agreed and trust me, we kept the fire going at a good roar all night-
Reviewed by Jason on 8/19/2012
Beautiful hike. Parking can be a little limited. We arrived at the main parking lot around lunch time, ended up down the road a few hundred feet at the overflow lot. Hiking time was around an hour each way. 10-15 minutes to loop around the lake. It's a nice quick hike, beautiful secluded lake with hike in camping available. We brought our family (kids 2&4) I ended up having to carry both on the way out (1 in a kids carrying backpack and the other on my shoulders). http://youtu.be/qgc36DGCZwU
Reviewed by CARoss on 1/17/2011
One of my favorite hikes. Being 50 something and not in tip top shape, this is very doable. Definitely recommend good boots as the trail "has its moments". Also recommend taking a long sleeved top or windbreaker as the weather can change quickly. Last time we went was on 4th of July and you could see your breath and the fingers were tingly.
Reviewed by AS on 9/4/2010
Fun, relatively easy family hike. I was slightly disappointed with the hike to the lake, but keep going to Tom, Dick and Harry for a huge view of Mount Hood and an unusual bird's eye of Government Camp. Jefferson and Ollalie Butte to the south are a treat.
Reviewed by jdd on 8/24/2010
Mirror Lake is surely one of my favorites. We had to drive into Gov't Camp to get a NW Pass. At the TH is Yocum Falls, go for the end. The Lake Hike is often very crowded and the air seems thin if your from Portland. Great lake and view. We want to come back and camp sometime. Seems lak Memaloose Lake & S Fork Mountain. 5 Star for sure.
Reviewed by WMY76RAM on 7/26/2010
This hike is worth every step. Mirror Lake is not very big but it is nice, cool, and refreshing. I do suggest heading up early. The trail is easy and not all that long, so many people head up as a family trip. We made the hike starting at nine in the a.m. On our way back (we made the trek to Tom Dick and Harry), lots of people were at the lake swimming. It is a fairly easy family hike. We saw people with strollers. Make the additional 1 mile+ trek up to Tom, Dick, and Harry Mtn. You can see the town of Govâ€™t Camp, the Sandy River Valley to the West and five volcanoes including Hood, St. Helens, Rainer, another one in Wash. State, and I believe Mt. Wash. in OR. SPECTACULAR!!!! 4 hour trip with time to gawk.
Reviewed by Allyson on 6/28/2010
We went up to Mirror Lake late yesterday. We saw a few other groups up there. The trail is very well maintained and a nice uphill climb to the lake. If you want to make this more challenging continue up Tom Dick & Harry as the view from up there is very well worth the additional effort.
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