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Battle Ground Lake Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The shore of Battle Ground Lake (Steve Hart)
Lower Lake Trail Junction (Steve Hart)
Battle Ground Lake in May (Steve Hart)


Hike Description

This is an easy afternoon getaway for Vancouver residents, but it's not far from Portland either.

From the parking lot, walk either of the paved paths passed the little food shack and the restrooms. In 1/10 of a mile, you'll reach the shore of the lake at a large improved swimming area. This is a very heavily used park area. You'll see blankets on the grass and frisbees in the air. Turn right on the sidewalk and walk passed another restroom building. The wide trail heads north for another 1/10 of a mile to a sign reading "Lower Lake Trail". Turn left here and head around the lake on this trail.

In some ways, Battle Ground Lake has an oddly untouched look to it, for a place so heavily used. You'll probably see quite a few people in your brief tour, and in the summer, the swimming area will be packed with screaming kids. Still, as you stroll around the lake, usually a few inches above water level, it's possible to remove yourself from the rat race. It's also pretty easy to take photographs that look a lot more remote than they really are.

There are a lot of fallen trees at the edge of the lake. These provide habitat for bass and ducks, as well as adding a lot to the beauty of the scene. On the west side of the lake, you'll pass moss covered boulders of lava that point out the violently volcanic origin of the lake. There are a couple of benches looking out on lake views and numerous places to stick your feet or your fishing gear in the water. After 0.6 miles, there's a trail junction with the "Upper Rim Trail" which provides access to the rest of the trail system, as well as the improved camping areas. 0.8 miles will bring you back to the swimming area and the quick jaunt up the hill to your car.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • There are currently no fees to hike or park.
  • Fees are charged for camping or boating.
  • Children under 4 are not allowed to swim in the lake.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Washington Hikes by Scott Leonard
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Megan McMorris

More Links


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.