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Huxley Lake-Roaring River Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

This page is marked as a Lost Hike. The "trail" may be dangerous and hard to follow and is not recommended for beginning hikers without an experienced leader. Beginning hikers should check out our Basic Hiking Information page.
At the Roaring River, Grouse Point Trail (bobcat)
Wilderness sign, Huxley Lake Trail (bobcat)
Peering over the skunk-cabbage, Huxley Lake (bobcat)
Creek crossing, Huxley Lake Trail (bobcat)
The trail to Huxley Lake and on to the Roaring River (not a GPS track) bobcat Courtesy: Caltopo



Huxley Lake is a secluded lake in the Roaring River drainage that is reached via a steep trail that descends from Abbot Road (FR 4610). In the past, the area was heavily frequented by ATVs, but wilderness designation has seen a slow recovery of the little-hiked trails here. A longer hike will allow you to connect with the even steeper Grouse Point Trail, which drops precipitously to the Roaring River Crossing. There are no views: the attraction here is the area’s remoteness: be warned that the Grouse Point Trail is a mere scratch in the ground and is irregularly maintained by volunteers. Only do the longer hike if you have good stamina (The exertion on this hike is on the way back!) and are experienced at following abandoned trails.

Walk down past the berm blocking vehicle access to the old campground. Fifteen yards past the trailhead sign, bear off to the left on a wide duff track, the Corral Springs Trail #507. The trail keeps to the level along a slope of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, silver fir, and noble fir with an understory of rhododendron. As you continue on the trail, you’ll notice large snags in the woods, relics of a 100-year burn that devastated the area. Arrive at the Corral Springs-Huxley Lake Trail Junction, and go right down the slope.

Pass the sign announcing entry to the Roaring River Wilderness. Soon the trail dives very steeply down the slope in an understory of rhododendron and vine maple. A small creek runs to the right as you plunge very steeply. The tread veers to the left and makes a short, steep drop before taking on a more lenient gradient. Reach a lush opening at the end of an old logging road (FR 4612-120), and go left here to leave the road bed.

Rise up a slope, and then make a level traverse among salal, lady fern, Oregon grape, and Clackamas white iris. The trail tread here is very narrow and often overhung with low vegetation. Drop almost imperceptibly along this hillside, and pass over a boggy spring area that can sometimes be crawling with newts. You’ll soon notice Huxley Lake glinting below through the trees. Reach a bracken/vine maple clearing and the Huxley Lake-Huxley Lake Spur Trail Junction.

Go left here, and descend the slope for less than a quarter of a mile to alder and skunk-cabbage rimmed Huxley Lake. The best access to the shore is right where the trail reaches it, and you can take an old log out onto the lake surface, which is floating with water lilies. The trail extends around the lake a little (but not the whole way around); however, access to the boggy shore is limited. A small area around a campfire circle has been burned and some of the trees are down here.

To continue to the Roaring River:

Return to the Huxley Lake-Huxley Lake Spur Trail Junction, and stay left. The trail drops to cross two creeks and makes a traverse to a junction with an old ATV track, which should be blocked by logs. Switchback down here, and recross one of the old creeks. You’re following an old road bed as you pass through a skunk-cabbage bog among larger Douglas-firs. Descend this track, which may have seen recent ATV use and has some short, steep drops, to reach FR 4611 at the Huxley Lake Lower Trailhead. Make a left here, and walk along the road about 250 yards to where it splits into three ATV tracks at the Grouse Point Trailhead.

Take the middle track, which should have a small sign for Trail #517. Walk down this road (FR 4611-026) for about 350 yards until you come to a large puddle. Past the puddle, walk another 140 yards, and look on your right for a mangled post sticking up out of a clump of sword fern, the Grouse Point Trail-FR4611-026 Junction. The Grouse Point Trail descends from here 0.6 miles to the Roaring River. Switchback down among salal and Oregon grape, and then hike along a bench. The trail continues along a ridge and then falls off the nose. Make five short switchbacks, traverse on a fairly obscure tread, and then descend using 16 steep switchbacks. Make a precipitous plunge through bracken and salal, switchback to the left, and then drop down alongside a gully. The trail fetches up in an alder/big-leaf maple bottomland above the Roaring River. Swing left and cross a creek. You need to cross over a fallen tree and pass through a horsetail bog before you reach the ford at the Roaring River Crossing, where the trail resumes on the opposite bank. This ford is eminently doable after mid-summer, but will be much more difficult at times of high water. You could try the bouncy tree to cross or ford at the tree using its dangling branches for support (See Tips for Crossing Streams).

You’ll be the only person here at the rocky bank, so imbibe the seclusion with relish. If you’ve come prepared, you can bushwhack or wade up the river about 0.2 miles to Periwinkle (or Parrywinkle?) Falls.


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Huxley Lake Trail #521 (USFS)
  • Green Trails Maps: Fish Creek Mtn, OR #492
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Clackamas River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North: Trail Map & Hiking Guide
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Afoot and Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain

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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.