Mirror Lake Hike
From Oregon Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Mirror Lake Trailhead
- End Point: Mirror Lake
- Trail Log: Trail Log
- Distance: 2.9 miles round-trip to Mirror Lake
- Elevation gain: 780 feet
- High Point: 4,100 feet
- Difficulty: Easy
- Seasons: Late Spring through late Fall; Popular snowshoe hike
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Backpackable: Yes - camping at Mirror Lake
- Crowded: Weekends year-round
The Mirror Lake trail has the misfortune of being one of the few hikes accessible directly from Highway 26, and thus suffers a crush of visitors on weekends. The attention is well-deserved: the always well-graded trail takes you past a picture-postcard views of Mount Hood and rugged Tom Dick and Harry Mountain, towering above Mirror Lake.
From the trailhead parking area, cross rushing Camp Creek and immediately enter deep forest, crossing Mirror Creek on a second log bridge. The trail soon enters more open woods, then begins a series of switchbacks across open scree slopes that provide interesting views of the Zigzag Valley, far below. If you’re taking children on this hike, the evidence of shortcuts at the switchbacks provide a good opportunity to teach the about trail stewardship, and the idea that everyone is an owner of our public lands.
As the trail approaches Mirror Lake, you will hear the outlet creek, and see a third bridge leading to the loop around the lake at the 1.4 mile mark. If you’re planning to stop at the lake, go left and cross the bridge for the best picnic spots along the east shore. Then be sure to complete the loop around the lake to take in the marsh boardwalk at the south end of the lake, and picturesque views of Mount Hood.
If you're looking for a longer hike, continue straight (right) when you reach the loop junction, and you'll be on the Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Hike.
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Related Discussions / Q&A
- Search Trail Q&A for Mirror Lake
Guidebooks that cover this hike
60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland, by Paul Gerald
- Splintercat (Tom Kloster) (primary)