Oregon Wild Hikes: Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is on the westside of Mount Hood and is part of the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness proposal
Part of the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness proposal
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 780 feet
About the Hike
Located just an hour from Portland, the Mirror Lake area is one of the premier recreation areas in the Mount Hood region, and it's accessible all year round! Mirror Lake offers stunning views of Mount Hood with dazzling lake reflections of Mount Hood's peak rising above the lake. Surrounding Mirror Lake are dramatic ridges and peaks, including Tom, Dick, and Harry Peak, which allows views of the peaks from Mount Rainier to Three Sisters on clear days.
One reason the views are so spectacular here is because the area is one of the largest remaining unprotected forests surrounding Mount Hood. The Mirror Lake area is wild and beautiful, and provides necessary habitat critters like deer, elk, pine marten and the spotted owl. Wild trout, salmon and steelhead find refuge the wild Wind Creek, that draws its waters from the peaks surrounding Mirror Lake.
While photographers flock to Mirror Lake for it's clear reflections, and natural history buffs revel in the area's beauty, recreationists also enjoy swimming, camping, snowshoeing. The Mirror Lake area is a popular one-day hike for Portlanders, especially in the summer.
Oregon Wild and other conservation groups are currently working to gain Wilderness protection for the Boulder Lake area as part of the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness proposal. Wilderness protection would forever safeguard the land from logging, mining, and other development while preserving the public’s right to enjoy backcountry recreation.
Take HWY 26 East towards Government Camp. The pull off for the Mirror Lake trailhead is on the right side of the road, about eight miles from Rhododendron and one mile west of Government Camp, between mile posts 51 and 52.
From Hood River
Take HWY 35 South towards Mount Hood. At the intersection of HWY 35 and HWY 26, take HWY 26 West towards Government Camp. The pull off for the Mirror Lake trailhead is on the left side of the road and is one mile past (west of) Government Camp.
This trailhead requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
For a short day hike that offers outstanding views take The Mirror Lake Trail #664. The three mile round trip hike to Mirror Lake is a great, easy day hike. The hike is straight up to the Lake, gaining just under 800 feet in 1.4 miles, so the hike slope is moderate but not long. While hikers look forward to the Lake at the top of the hike, be sure to notice the creeks, lush vegetation and wildflowers that line the trail on the way to one of Mount Hood's most loved visual splendors. Once you reach the lake, follow the trail around the lake for views of Mount Hood's peak rising just over the lake's calm reflective surface. (3.2 miles round trip)
For a longer and more challenging hike, follow the trail to the right (west) of Mirror Lake and head up to Tom, Dick, and Harry Peak. The trail is not as well maintained as the earlier section, but is the only trail going up to the peak. This trail gains 700 feet in 1.5 miles and offers Panoramic views. (6.2 miles round trip)
*The Mirror Lake trail is a great winter recreation spot for snowshoeing, though the slope is more challenging in the winter with snowshoes, making the snowshoe up to the Lake more of a moderate hike than an easy one. The trail to Tom, Dick and Harry is not mainatained in the winter.
For More Information
Contact Oregon Wild’s Portland office at (503) 283-6343 or visit our Wilderness pages here. The Forest Services' Mount Hood website also contains useful info.