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Mud Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mud Lake (bobcat)
Western aster (Symphyotrichum spathulatum), Mud Lake (bobcat)
Campsite just above Mud Lake (bobcat)
Route to Mud Lake via the Anthill Trail (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Wahtum Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Mud Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 7.4 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1400 feet
  • High Point: 4480 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable:Yes
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

Mud Lake sits nestled in a bowl between Tomlike Mountain (Woolly Horn Ridge), Waucoma Ridge, and Green Point Mountain. It is a quiet and peaceful place, well worth an overnight camp, but campsites are limited. The short way to Mud Lake is via the Anthill Trail from the Wahtum Lake Trailhead, but there are several other (and longer) options, including the long approach from the Herman Creek Trailhead (see the Wahtum Lake via Herman Creek Hike) and a loop around Wahtum Lake.

From the Wahtum Lake Parking Lot, turn your back on all of the people heading toward the lake and head north instead on the Anthill Trail, numbered 406B. The trail begins a steady climb right out of the lot to the summit of Waucoma Ridge, passing several beautiful viewpoints of Wahtum Lake along the way. Keep up to an even better view with Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and Tanner Butte. After this, begin a descent to get a glimpse of the top of Mount Adams from a clearing. Reach the Anthill-Rainy Wahtum Trail Junction on the old Wahtum Lake Road and go straight. Enter the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness and gradually lose elevation in huckleberry, silver fir, and noble fir woods. Avalanche lilies bloom profusely here in mid-summer. Come to the junction with the Herman Creek Trail.

Go right and, in 40 yards, pass the trail heading north to Tomlike Mountain. Head down the Herman Creek Trail and switchback at a talus slope. Cross three small creeks and hike on the level in silver and noble fir forest. Cross a talus slope squeaking with pikas and reach the Herman Creek-Mud Lake Trail Junction.

Take a right and traverse a bear-grass slope in montane forest, then drop down through a campsite to the shore of Mud Lake. Indulge yourself on a sunny day watching the floating newts and hovering dragonflies. A decaying raft lies pulled up in the sedge borders and yellow water lilies bloom on the placid surface. A screen of noble fir and western red-cedar rims the lake and the scree slopes of Green Point Mountain drop to its eastern shore.

Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Bonneville Dam, OR #429
  • Green Trails Maps: Columbia River Gorge - West #428S
  • Geo-Graphics: Trails of the Columbia Gorge
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management: Columbia River Gorge
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Hood River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest

Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Northwest Forest Pass required at Wahtum Lake Trailhead

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • none

More Links

Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.