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Joyce Lake Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Vine maple on the west shore of Joyce Lake (bobcat)
Campsite area, Joyce Lake (bobcat)
Looking to the south shore, Joyce Lake (bobcat)
Loop around Joyce Lake with abandoned Baty Butte Trail shown (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Joyce Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Joyce Lake
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 0.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 60 feet
  • High Point: 3,890 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



Joyce Lake is a 2.8 acre mountain lake surrounded by old growth on Bureau of Land Management land near the western border of the Mt. Hood National Forest. It’s a lovely secluded spot in a very remote area, surprisingly devoid of garbage despite the fact that it is located close to a road. Brook trout can be fished here and the lake is well-known among locals for its crawdads. A trail leads around the lake and the trailhead here also connects to a remnant section of the old Boundary Trail, which heads north along the ridge.

This short loop is a good stopover to or from the Nasty Rock Hike.

Ten yards past the boulders at the trailhead, a trail leads left up the slope. This is the abandoned tread of the Baty Butte Trail #545 (formerly the Boundary or Molalla Trail). Keep straight here, and hike in to a lovely shaded camp area with a grill under old-growth Douglas-firs, hemlocks, and noble firs. Continue towards Joyce Lake, descending to your left (Before the descent, a trail leads left to a secluded campsite). The first shore access offers a picturesque view to the opposite bank under a bower of vine maple.

A well-benched tread undulates around this peaceful body of water offering a couple more points of access. There are no cleared campsite areas and the old growth trees, vine maples and willows crowd Joyce Lake's shore. Near the willow-choked outlet creek, the trail heads out toward the road and then crosses the creek, rising to the main campsite, where you can go left back to your car.

Note: If you want to add to your excursion here, try a loop using the abandoned tread of the Baty Butte Trail #545. Head up this trail, which takes you below a cliff and then dog legs around to run steeply up above the same cliff and on to a power line corridor. You can walk the power line road down to main gravel road and go left to reach your car.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • none


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Note that the Joyce Lake Trail is not shown on any maps; those below, however, show the location of the lake:
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, Bull of the Woods Wilderness, Opal Creek Wilderness, Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Clackamas River Ranger District
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 101 Hikes in the Majestic Mount Jefferson Region by Matt Reeder

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.