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Cultus Lake from Cultus Creek Campground Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View of Mount Adams on the trail (Martell)
View of Bird Mountain on the trail (Martell)
  • Start point: Cultus Creek Campground TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Cultus Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1010 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer-Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

The trail starts at the Cultus Creek Campground Trailhead quickly climbing up the side of Bird Mountain paralleling Cultus Creek on the Indian Heaven Trail. You'll see lichen-draped douglas fir trees and lots of beargrass. Parts of the first mile are very steep. After a mile the trail reaches a viewpoint where there are views of Bird Mountain, Mount Adams and other peaks.

The trail re-enters the forest and climbs at a gentler pace. After leveling out the trail passes by a short side trail to Deep Lake before reaching Cultus Lake after about 2.5 miles. There are a few campsites here. If you camp here, please practice Leave No Trace principles and do not camp in the fragile meadows.

A side trip to Deep Lake is worth your time before you head back. The 0.3mi spur trail takes you to the big lake, which is indeed deep. There are more campsites here than at Cultus Lake.


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Martell justpeachy

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.