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Round Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View over Round Lake (bobcat)
On the Round Lake Trail, Round Lake (bobcat)
Second outhouse, Round Lake (bobcat)
Beaver dam, Round Lake (bobcat)
The short loop around Round Lake (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Round Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Round Lake
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Lollipop loop
  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 120 feet
  • High Point: 3,615 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Mid-spring into Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



This secluded lake on a remote slope above the East Fork Collawash River became a little more difficult to reach when the road from the Collawash (FR 6370) got washed out at Ogre Creek. Now the only access is a roundabout route beginning from the upper reaches of the Clackamas River. There are a few campsites on Round Lake’s north shore and campers can fish the lake, which seems to have a healthy population of trout. Volunteers have worked hard to brush out the trail around the lake, so this is now easily navigable (as of 2016).

The trail heads up to the right side of the parking pullout, which is fringed by blooming rhododendrons in early June. The rhododendron understory is shaded by western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, and hemlock. Pass through a regenerating clearcut as the trail levels and then drops to reach the unsigned junction with the loop trail around Round Lake.

Go left here to pass through a vine maple thicket and enter the tall old growth forest that rims the lake. At a four-way junction, a spur leads down to the shore of the lake, here dense with spiraea and water lilies, while the track left takes you to an outhouse. Pass the first of five campsites, each with its own picnic table, on your left. As you continue, you’ll get more views across Round Lake and up to Gyp Point, the prominence on the skyline.

Cross Round Lake Creek and pass some massive Douglas-firs. There’s a second, now abandoned outhouse above the trail: past this structure goes the debris-littered trace of a trail that once connected with the Rho Ridge Trail, about a mile away, somewhere south of Fawn Meadow. You’ll pass the fifth, and last, campsite at a skunk-cabbage swamp and get views of a beaver lodge: the busy rodents have raised the lake’s natural level by about two feet, which accounts for some of the dead trees around the shore. The south shore is more brushy, but there are several access points to the lake. The substantial beaver dam is across the outlet creek and was constructed upon the remains of a disintegrating boardwalk. Continue through rhododendron thickets to close the loop and return to your car.

There are no fees to camp at the lake. The area has had bear problems in the past, so hang your food high. There are trout in the lake: a two-fish limit per day.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Walk-in campsites at Round Lake
  • Two fish/day limit


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Round Lake Trail #565 (USFS)
  • Green Trails Maps: Breitenbush, OR #525
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Clackamas River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 105 Virtual Hikes of the Mt. Hood National Forest by Northwest Hiker

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.