For Lost Lake or Wahtum Lake as well, I always get off at the first Hood River exit, then immediately take a right onto Country Club. At the first T intersection, take a left, then drive a mile, then take a right at the corner store. This is all paved. Which might mean that the FG route (last Hood River exit, then Hwy 35) could be shortened without changing the gravel roads.
Outside of rush hour my route gets me from 217/26 through the tunnels, out I84 to Kingsley in 1:40, Warren Lake TH in 1:55, and Lost Lake in 2:00. Those times are my notes from 2011.
The roads to hugely popular Kingsley Reservoir at all paved, from there it is 15 minutes on gravel to Warren Lake TH, and most of those 15 minutes of gravel are the same as the FG route.
I cannot concur with EMTStoltz. Regardless, it's no skin off my back what road others take, or whether this makes it into the FG or this thread is deleted.
Thanks for your numerous and excellent contributions to the forums and Field Guide, bobcat.
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mcds: Thanks, honestly, for pointing out this shorter option. I've linked to this thread on the trailhead pages. Sometime, I'll have to go up there again and measure out each section (or maybe you can do it the next time you go?).