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Tumble Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View of Coffin mountain above Detroit Lake from the Tumble Lake outlet (cfm)
Mountain ash with a backdrop of Alaska cedar (cfm)
The short hike to Tumble Lake (bobcat)
  • Start point: Tumble Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Tumble Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 4.0 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1100 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: June- November
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This quiet and remote lake hidden in a high valley above Detroit Lake is a perfect family day hike or overnight getaway.

From the trailhead, the first few steps of the hike start steeply, up a short embankment, but once you clear the ridgeline, it will be a gently rolling easterly walk past an interesting rock pinnacle and a nice viewpoint down to the lake. After about a half mile, you will reach the Tumble Ridge-Tumble Lake Trail Junction. Turn right to head south down into the Tumble Lake basin (going straight leads to Dome Rock). The first downhill portion consists of forested switchbacks, and then a short section of the trail requires some scrambling within a rugged rocky stream bed. You will then traverse cross two steep open meadows which will be in bloom late June through August. As you flatten out into the basin, you will begin seeing the shaggy forest of Alaska Cedars, dripping with moss. Prolific huckleberry bushes fill the understory. Several shaded campsites are available at the lake edge.

Once you arrive at the lake, continue on a faint user trail south and follow the lake outlet stream to some mossy rock ledges that give the viewpoint of Detroit Lake seen in the photo above. Here you will see the water disappearing over the cliff edge to form Tumble Falls.


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Detroit, OR #556 and Battle Ax, OR #524
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Willamette National Forest: Detroit Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Willamette National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades by William L. Sullivan

More Links


  • CFM (creator)
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.