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 3 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by JM on 7/4/2006
Quite a few folks hiking up to Mirror Lake on the 4th of July 2006. I counted 15 cars in the parking lot. The beginning of the hike was a little more strenuous than expected -- the switchbacks were just a tad steeper than easy (not much though). The lake was beautiul, but crowded. I'd come again, but not on a holiday.
Reviewed by Sushil on 5/23/2006
8 pm 19 May 2006 we got to the trailhead at on Friday and we (my wife and my friend Dave) hiked in the dark and some places were bright has day, it was beautiful hike even in darkness. I heard underground rivers. It was long hike in the dark. We tried to camp on the far side of the lake but it was snowed in. At night the crawdads come out and we did catch a brook trout but it was too small. Dave hike to the top of Tom, Dick and Harry trail. I took a swim in frigid water. My wife and I walked around the lake and there was snow in some place 2-3 feet deep but still a great place to go.
Reviewed by sac on 3/27/2006
Absolutely beautiful trip - do it early as the sun melts the snow in winter time in the afternoon and it becomes very slippery coming down and dangerous for kids and adults.
Reviewed by Phillip T on 2/5/2006
Spent the night at the lake after making an attempt to summit. To much fresh snow and drift to Tom, Dick and Harry. Good snowshow, even though I did not even use them till the last 5 minutes finding the perfect spot to bivy for the night.
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