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Mirror Lake (Columbia Gorge)

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Palisade Falls from Mirror Lake - all iced up (bobcat)
Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia), Mirror Lake (bobcat)


A 700-foot high cliff of Wanapum basalt, capped by the Vista House at Crown Point, towers above this serene body of water, which was once an inlet of the Columbia River before the freeway cut it off. Young Creek (formerly known as Young's Creek) meanders into Mirror Lake and then exits to the river via a culvert under I-84. The west Columbia River Gorge elk herd can occasionally be spotted by the shore of the lake, and the railroad runs right under the basalt cliffs here. Palisade Falls pours over its rampart from a V-shaped gully in times of heavy rain; at other times it is completely dry or just a wisp that is carried off by the prevailing breeze.

The lake is now part of Rooster Rock State Park. It protects a healthy population of wapato, or broad-leaf arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), a plant whose tubers were a staple in the diet of local Native Americans. This water plant blooms here at the beginning of September.

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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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