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Timothy Lake

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mt. Hood from Timothy Lake (bobcat)
PGE sign at Timothy Lake (bobcat)
Marshy inlet, Timothy Lake (bobcat)


Timothy Lake is a large 1300-acre reservoir on the eastern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest. In 1956, Portland General Electric completed construction of a dam across the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River to regulate water flow to hydroelectric facilities downstream. The resulting reservoir drowned a large meadow dominated by timothy grass, after which the lake is named: the native grasses were seeded over with this European species by the pre-World War II shepherds who summered with their flocks here.

The Timothy Lake Trail #538 circles the lake. The course on the east shore is also shared with the Pacific Crest Trail #2000. There are four drive-in campgrounds on the Timothy Lake South Side and one on the north shore. There are also numerous designated walk-in sites on the north and east shores of the reservoir. The walk-in campground at Meditation Point has a toilet and requires a fee. Fees are also required at the day-use areas on the lake. All campgrounds, boat launches, and day-use areas are operated by PGE.

The lake is famous for its crawdads and also offers good fishing of rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee salmon. Waterfowl nest and raise their young in the lake's inlets, and in the fall the lake hosts migrating loons. Otters are sometimes seen at the lake, and deer, elk, bear, and coyote frequent the forests around. Much of the shore forest is dominated by old growth conifers. There are good views of Mount Hood from the south shore.

The lake is busy with visitors from Memorial Day through the summer. Fall is a quiet time to hike at the lake although you may encounter hunters.

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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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