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Veda Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Veda Butte from the trail to Veda Lake (Tom Kloster)
Veda Lake and Veda Butte (Tom Kloster)
View across Still Creek Valley to Mount Hood (Tom Kloster)
  • Start point: Fir Tree TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Veda Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 2.8 miles round-trip
  • Elevation gain: 660 feet
  • High Point: 4,680 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Late Spring through late Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes - camping at Veda Lake
  • Crowded: Never



Two locals packed trout fry into this tiny lake in 1917, and were later honored by a forester who combined the first two letters of their names, Vern and Dave, to name the lake. Today, the lake is still a coveted backcountry fishing spot for those hoping to get away from the crowds at nearby Mirror Lake. The lake also makes a good family destination, with generally easy grades on much of the route.

From the Fir Tree Trailhead, locate the marked trail to Veda Lake across the road. The route climbs somewhat steeply at first, before beginning a gentle traverse around the west shoulder of Veda Butte, through June-blooming rhododendron and towering stands of noble fir.

At the half-mile mark, the trail rounds the butte, and begins a descent to a fine viewpoint of the lake, far below, and Mount Hood rising across the Still Creek valley. From here, the trail follows the ridgeline in loose switchbacks, with several nice views of the lake and cliffs of Veda Butte. On a clear day, Mount Hood rises across the valley, and in the foreground, Tom Dick and Harry Mountain and Multorpor Mountain frame a portion of Government Camp.

Soon, the trail curves around the ridgeline and drops to the lake shore at 1.4 miles after one final, long switchback. There are several campsites along north shore, where views of Veda Butte, above, dominates the setting. A use path circles the lake, and provides access to a small inlet stream, the only flowing water source along the hike. Oddly, there is no outlet from the lake.

Facilities, etc.

  • Backcountry campsites at Veda Lake
  • Share trail with mountain bikers


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Veda Lake Trail #673 (USFS)
  • Green Trails Maps: High Rock, OR #493 and Government Camp, OR #461
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Zigzag Ranger District
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

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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.