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Dome Rock-Tumble Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mt. Jefferson from the Tumble Ridge Trail (bobcat)
Detroit Lake from the Tumble Ridge Trail (bobcat)
View to Tumble Lake from Dome Rock (bobcat)
Tumble Lake shore (bobcat)
Old growth Alaska yellow-cedar at Tumble Lake (bobcat)
The trail to Tumble Lake via Dome Rock (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Tumble Ridge TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Tumble Lake
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 14.0 miles
  • Elevation gain: 4,520 feet
  • High Point: 4,859 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No



Beginning right on Highway 22 above Detroit Lake, the Tumble Ridge Trail takes you past a power substation and through secondary forest to gradually wind up the ridge getting ever more frequent views south to the central Cascades. This is in the Detroit Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest, but you'll also pass through a couple of pockets of the Santiam State Forest. From the summit of Dome Rock, there are expansive views north and south - especially interesting are the rugged formations and summits in the immediate vicinity: Needle Rock, Sardine Mountain, Elephant Rock, Tumble Rock, Water Tower Mountain. Then you'll drop in elevation to Tumble Lake, nestled below the last three peaks in groves of old growth Alaska yellow-cedar. For a bonus, you can try the use trail to the 100-foot waterfall at the east end of the lake.

The Tumble Ridge Trail #3380 begins behind a green gate right off of Highway 22. Walk up an old forest road which parallels Tumble Creek. Big-leaf maple, Douglas-fir, western red-cedar, red alder, vine maple, sword fern, bracken and young hemlocks form the forest cover. Hike under telephone lines and then power lines in clearings of Scots broom. The trail branches off the road to the right and switchbacks up. Wade through salal and Oregon grape to a viewpoint over a power sub-station, Detroit Lake and Peity Island. Reenter the woods and walk up under a secondary Douglas-fir canopy. Bear-grass, little wild rose, red huckleberry and rhododendrons appear in the understory. At a break in the trees, the trail switchbacks with a view up the Tumble Creek valley and Whitman Rock. Note that the chinquapin are actually trees at these latitudes. Traverse a scree slope which supports vine maple and snow brush. Get views down to Detroit Lake from here. There are many fire-scarred snags of big trees in this forest. Ahead, acquire the first glimpse of Dome Rock through the trees. Cross a draw choked with fallen snags and switchback up to recross it in a patch of thimbleberries. Then, pass through a thicket of Sitka alder and thimbleberry. The woodland becomes noble fir, silver fir and Douglas-fir. Reach the ridge crest and pass through a large grassy clearing near Margie Dunham Spring. Huge stumps attest to the giants who loomed here before they were logged.

Head up to an old road, go right for about 15 yards to a trail sign (which may not be vertical), and pick up the trail as it ascends up to the ridge crest. Cross a blazing vine maple talus slope and then enter a brushy clearing which transitions into a forest of old growth noble fir and silver fir. Take in a great view of Mount Jefferson from here. Pass through another clearing, looking to the west to catch a glimpse of nearby Needle Rock, and reenter the forest. Mountain hemlock now appears as well. Cross a boulder field, where the trail goes level around a vine maple to reenter the forest. There are views back after this to Detroit Lake and all the way to the Three Sisters. Back in the woods, come to the Tumble Ridge-Dome Rock Trail Junction, where Trail #3381 to Dome Rock leads up to the right past a new sign.

Switchback up, swishing through bear-brass, and see Dome Rock up ahead. The trail reaches the open slopes of the rock, dotted with boxwood, common juniper, stonecrop, and woolly sunflower, and soon you reach the rocky summit. There are the remains of the old lookout here and views down to Tumble Lake, Water Tower Mt., Tumble Rock, and Elephant Rock above the lake, the radio tower on Hall Ridge, north to Sardine Mountain and Mount Hood, into the French Creek valley to the west, Mount Jefferson, and south across Detroit Lake to Coffin Mountain and all the way to Three Fingered Jack, Mount Washington and the Three Sisters. Just to the south, half-hidden by trees, is Needle Rock.

Head back down to the Tumble Ridge-Dome Rock Trail Junction and make a right. The trail heads just below the ridge crest on the west side of the ridge. Where it reaches the crest, there is the Tumble Ridge-Tumble Lake Trail Junction, with Trail # 3379 to Tumble Lake leading down to the left. This trail descends steeply through noble fir, silver fir, Douglas-fir woods and thimbleberry clearings. Mountain beaver burrows are everywhere. The path levels on a bench of impressive old growth, including western hemlocks as well as Douglas-fir, silver fir and noble fir. The trail switchbacks and then makes a steep descent down a rocky creek bed to the flat area around the lake. The hemlocks here are especially impressive. There are copses of devil’s club, old growth Alaska yellow-cedar and Sitka alder. The trail winds through a Sitka alder thicket to the lake shore. Elephant Rock, Tumble Rock, and Water Tower Mountain loom above the lake. Alaska yellow-cedars droop over the placid expanse. There is a rooty use trail that goes east for about one-third of a mile to Tumble Falls, a somewhat anemic drop in the summer, but a more impressive cascade when water levels are high.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • none


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Detroit, OR #556 and Battle Ax, OR #524
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Willamette National Forest: Detroit Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Willamette National Forest
  • Pacific Northwest Recreation Map Series: Willamette Cascades
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region by Matt Reeder
  • 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon's Columbia River Gorge: Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill

More Links

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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.

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