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Shining Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The shore of Shining Lake (bobcat)
The Shining Lake Trail on the old Frazier Fork Road (bobcat)
Mountain ash berries, Shining Lake Trail (bobcat)
Salmon Butte and Mt. Hood, Shining Lake Trail (bobcat)
The route to Shining Lake (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Frazier TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Shining Lake
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 9.7 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1050 feet
  • High Point: 4,780 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

The Shining Lake Trail #510 follows an old road along Indian Ridge, which juts into the heart of the Roaring River Wilderness, separating the main course of the river from the South Fork. The road itself continues four miles to an old lookout site, but 0.4 miles before the end of the road, a trail drops to secluded Shining Lake, nestled below a steep talus slope and a favored destination for backcountry trout fishermen. Expansive views on the first part of the hike extend north across the Roaring River canyon to Mount Hood and the snow-capped volcanoes of the southern Washington Cascades. The only catch is that, to get here, your vehicle needs to endure 4 1/2 miles of the tortuous, annually deteriorating 4610-240 spur road, a narrow, rocky, dusty trundle that tries one's patience and frazzles nerves.

From the Frazier Trailhead, walk back along the road about 200 yards and go left on the decommissioned Frazier Fork Road past the site of the Frazier Fork Campground. To prevent incursions by ATVs, boulders have been tossed onto the road bed, deep trenches dug, and steep berms mounded. This is silver fir, mountain hemlock, noble fir woodland with a huckleberry understory. Pass a wilderness permit box and be sure to sign in. The road drops slightly and then rises. Get a view of Mount Hood to the right, with Salmon Butte across the Roaring River valley. A few lodgepole and western white pines and carpets of bear-grass grow in open areas. Before the road drops, there’s another view of Mount Hood, but look farther for vistas to Mount Adams, Mount Saint Helens, and Mount Rainier on a clear day. Rhododendrons line the road: in July, this is a brilliant display. The forest becomes almost exclusively silver fir now, with a huckleberry and bear-grass understory. Pass the last of the road blocks and the track drops below the ridge crest on its south side. The gradient is steadily down and then rises a little. The track reaches the ridge crest. Descend again, then rise, and drop once more, all very gradually. Finally, come to the signposted Shining Lake Trail-Frazier Fork Road Junction. The road continues straight for another 0.4 miles to the site of the Indian Ridge Fire Lookout. Go right to descend to Shining Lake.

Walk through a copse of lodgepole pines, rhododendrons, mountain hemlock, Douglas-fir and noble fir to a camping area with fire holes and a picnic table. This is the old Shining Lake Forest Camp. Keep straight to find the trail, which drops down. Through the trees, Shining Lake is visible with Mount Hood in the background. The trail switchbacks down the steep slope. Near the bottom, the forest is western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, silver fir and western hemlock. Bracken and rhododendrons dominate the understory. There’s an open area with a campsite on the left which gives access to the lake shore. Some sizable rainbow trout can be fished here. A use trail leads around the lake, crossing the outlet creek and heading along the bottom of the talus slope.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Sign in at Wilderness Permit box

Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Shining Lake Trail #510 (USFS)
  • Green Trails Maps: High Rock, OR #493 and Fish Creek Mtn, OR #492
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Clackamas River Ranger District
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North: Trail Map & Hiking Guide
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood
  • Adventure Maps: Mt. Hood Area

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Portland Hikes by Art Bernstein & Andrew Jackman
  • One Night Wilderness: Portland by Douglas Lorain
  • 105 Virtual Hikes of the Mt. Hood National Forest by Northwest Hiker
  • 50 Hiking Trails: Portland & Northwest Oregon by Don & Roberta Lowe

More Links


Page 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.