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Hoffer Lakes Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The second Hoffer Lake (bobcat)
Gunsight Mt., Angell Peak, Lees Peak and Anthony Lake (bobcat)
Parker Creek at Anthony Lake (bobcat)
Sitka burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis latifolia), Anthony Lake (bobcat)
The hike from Anthony Lake to the Hoffer Lakes (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Anthony Lake Trailhead
  • Ending Point: Hoffer Lakes
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Lollipop loop
  • Distance: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 340 feet
  • High Point: 7,480 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes


Hike Description

The granite peaks of the Elkhorn Range are an inviting hiker destination in the summer. The trail described here is a brief introduction to the area and the hike visits three of the numerous cirque ponds known as the Anthony Lakes. Four 8,000-foot peaks ring the basin that encompasses Anthony Lake and the two Hoffer Lakes and the skyline is complemented by a colorful abundance of summer wildflowers on the ground. At the trailhead, a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps guard station, which can be rented for overnight stays, and a gazebo of the same era add historical interest to this lovely amble.

From the trailhead opposite the old guard station, walk to the lakeshore past the CCC picnic gazebo and pick up the the trail heading clockwise around Anthony Lake's east shore. Gunsight Mountain, at 8,342 feet, looms above. Pass some picturesque rocky islets, and reach the boat ramp. The Black Lake Trail leads east from here. For the short hike described, take the Hoffer Lake Trail and continue south on an old road bed. You'll cross the exit creek from Lilypad Lake at an open sedge marsh on the south shore of Anthony Lake. Soon reach an information kiosk and trail junction.

To add 1.2 miles to the short loop around Anthony Lake, take this spur trail to the two Hoffer Lakes. The somewhat rubbly trail rises gently along Parker Creek, crossing and recrossing the creek three times. At the first of the Hoffer Lakes, you'll look south across this small expanse of water to a trio of 8,000 foot peaks, from west to east: The Lakes Lookout, Lees Peak, Angell Peak. A trail leads right to the second and larger of the Hoffer Lakes, backed up against striking granite walls. Look for paintbrush, false hellebore, and asters blooming here. Return to the junction at the first of the Hoffer Lakes. You can go left here to make a longer loop through some alpine meadows to a gravel road that will take you back to Anthony Lake. Otherwise, return to the junction at the kiosk.

From the kiosk, go left and cross Parker Creek. Pass an area of walk-in campsites, and reach some restrooms and a parking area. A trail leads out to a viewing area over Anthony Lake. Return to the road and walk along it until you pick up the trail heading along the rocky shoreline of this cirque lake. In summer, gentian, Sitka burnet, ladies' tresses, and monkshood stand out among the other blooms. You'll get clear views of Gunsight Mountain across the lake. The trail is shaded with subalpine fir and lodgepole pine. Soon, reach the gazebo and the parking area.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $4.00 day-use fee
  • Keep dogs on leash


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon by William L. Sullivan
  • Trips & Trails: Oregon by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon & Washington: 50 Hikes With Kids by Wendy Gorton
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • Oregon: The Creaky Knees Guide by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Hiking Oregon's Geology by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Best Hikes With Dogs: Oregon by Ellen Morris Bishop

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.