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Wind Lake-Multorpor Fen Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Historic warming hut, Ski Bowl West (bobcat)
View to Comerford Lakes and Government Camp from Tom Peak (bobcat)
Wind Lake shore, Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness (bobcat)
Pond, Multorpor Fen (bobcat)
Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), Multorpor Fen (bobcat)
South fork of Camp Creek, Summit Trail (bobcat)
Route from Ski Bowl West to Wind Lake, Tom Peak, and Multorpor Fen (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Ski Bowl West TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End points: Tom Peak, Wind Lake, and Multorpor Fen
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop with spurs
  • Distance: 9.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1955 feet
  • High Point: 5,066 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer into fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes, in segments
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

Secluded Wind Lake lies behind Tom Dick and Harry Mountain and can be accessed by crossing the summit ridge from Mirror Lake or by heading up from Ski Bowl West. In fact, the latter has its own network of trails that you can explore to visit other natural attractions in the area, such as Tom Peak and Multorpor Fen. While you’ll see fewer hikers here than on the very popular Mirror Lake Trail, in the summer Ski Bowl can be abuzz with visitors to its Adventure Park. You will also be criss-crossing mountain biking trails and sometimes stepping aside to let bikers pass. Nonetheless, Wind Lake is a quiet destination tucked away from all the activity, and the view from Tom Peak is spectacular on any clear day.

Take the steps down between the lodge and the ticket booth, and continue to the left of the Lower Sky Chair to enter the Adventure Park. Pass the bottom of the sled run to reach Lake Road. Once on Lake Road, you’ll soon come to the four–way junction with Bridge and Cross-Country Roads. Go right on Bridge Road for about 50 yards, and head up the AWD track that rises steeply through bracken and thimbleberry to the left of the Lower Sky Chair. A small creek runs to the right in a corridor of alder and mountain hemlock. You’ll fetch up at a port-a-potty and the top of the sled run. Go left to reach Low Road, and then make a right. You’ll pass under the sky chair and cross a ski run below the rustic 1930s CCC warming hut. Leave the road to hike up to the hut (avoid the winding mountain bike trail) and look back to get one of many spectacular views to Mount Hood.

To keep hiking, go left on the High Road (behind the warming hut): those wishing not to ascend under their own power can keep straight to take the Upper Sky Chair to the ridge above. Make sure you avoid the Cannonball Trail, which is for mountain bikers only. Head up High Road, and keep left at the spur leading to the top of the Lower Sky Chair. Continue across another ski run to the Skyline Road-High Road-Horse Trail Junction, where you will see the top of the Multorpor Lift ahead.

Bear right and uphill here on Skyline Road. The road switchbacks twice in a shady forest of mountain hemlock, silver fir, and noble fir. You’ll get a glimpse down to Skibowl East before you head up the ridge crest with the Sunrise mountain bike trail to your right. Keep on Skyline Road as it follows the back side of the ridge, where the forest is dominated by lodgepole pines. You’ll see Multorpor Mountain to the east and Eureka Peak rising impressively above the Still Creek valley. Soon, Mount Hood forms a backdrop, and you get views all the way across Barlow Butte to Surveyors Ridge. Cross the Sunrise Trail before you hike parallel to the track of the Cannonball Trail. Pass the Skyline Road-Wind Lake Trail Junction, and keep on the road as you come to the top of the Upper Sky Chair.

Here, you’ll find the beginning of the Tom Dick Peak Trail, which undulates along a rocky, forested crest in a cross-country ski corridor known as Treviso’s Traverse. There are interpretive signs here for conifers, bear-grass, and wild cats. At a clearing, get expansive views north to Mount Hood, with Mount Adams on its left shoulder. Mount Saint Helens and Mount Rainier can also be seen, and there’s a view down to Comerford Lake on the bench below. Pass a sign telling about lodgepole pines, and reach the campfire circle at Tom Peak, which offers a spreading vista down to Ski Bowl and Government Camp as well as the whole south face of Mount Hood.

Return to the Skyline Road-Wind Lake Trail Junction, and drop gently down the old jeep track. Cross the Sunrise Trail in a carpet of huckleberry and bear-grass. The rubbly path steepens, and you may have to clamber over a few fallen trees. The trail continues more smoothly through a linear meadow, where you can look for ladies’ tresses and elephant’s-head lousewort in mid-summer. Reach a rock table, and take one of the user paths down to the shore of Wind Lake, which lies just within the expanded (2009) boundary of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. The lake is very shallow, and vegetation crowds the edge, but this is usually a peaceful and quiet stop to share with the buzzing dragonflies.

Return to Skyline Road and then the Skyline Road-High Road-Horse Trail Junction. Take the Horse Trail down the Easy Street ski run (The trail is also used by mountain bikes, so watch your back). Multorpor Mountain looms ahead, and paintbrush, yarrow, and lupine bloom here in summer. The trail veers right through a line of conifers and reaches another ski run carpeted with wild strawberry. Take in another great view of Mount Hood and also Multorpor Fen awaiting below. Drop down, and then go right through the trees to reach the Optimator-Horse Trail Junction.

Keep straight here to reach the junction of Low and Lake Roads, where you go right on Lake Road. Walk past the bottom of the Multorpor Chairlift, and keep right on Lake Road. Pass a skunk-cabbage/bulrush pond, and note a trail leading off to your left (This is west end of the Multorpor Fen Trail). Head up a slope before dropping to reach the Bungee Trampoline and Ski Bowl East. Past the mini-golf on your left, find the little Multorpor Fen Trail, which leads along rooty, spongy tread under a variety of conifers, including Alaska yellow-cedar and subalpine fir. Skunk-cabbage is a feature of the trail, and soon you’ll pass a spring which hosts the fry of brook trout. Multorpor Fen itself lies beyond the screen of Sitka alder to your right. You’ll see interpretive signs for beavers and birds and get a view of Mount Hood over the skunk-cabbage and small conifer islands of the fen. Pass by another spring at the rootball of a toppled tree, and reach a gravel tread. Going right here gives access to a pondweed-covered lake. The shore here is a spongy mat of moss and sedge that supports tiny but carnivorous sundew plants. Return to Lake Road via this trail, and make a right.

Follow Lake Road to the Multorpor Chair Lift, and take the Summit Trail #691. This trail undulates through a boggy coniferous forest with some sizeable specimens of Engelmann spruce and silver fir. There’s a brief period in a dense secondary woodland before the wide path switchbacks right through a salmonberry thicket and crosses the south fork of Camp Creek at a huge cedar. Cross another fork of Camp Creek on a wide bridge, and follow an old road bed as it switchbacks up and then winds along verged by oval-leafed blueberry bushes. Reach a new trailhead kiosk before arriving at the paved entrance to a Sno-Park. Go right towards Highway 26, crossing Camp Creek, and then head left into the Ski Bowl West Parking area.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Stay on designated hiking trails/roads; yield way to maintenance vehicles; avoid mountain biking trails
  • Dogs on leash

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

These guidebooks detail an in and out hike to Wind Lake:

  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Hikes & Walks on Mt. Hood by Sonia Buist & Emily Keller
  • 62 Hikes in the Northern Oregon Cascades by Don & Roberta Lowe

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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.