Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Part of the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Proposal

Difficulty: Easy
Distance:  three miles
Elevation Gain: 20 feet
Season: late spring, summer, fall
Maps: Mount Hood District Ranger Stations and at Nature of the Northwest in Portland

About the Hike

You can find the heart of Mount Hood's beauty and wildlife at Lost Lake. Photographers praise Lost Lake's unrivaled vistas, birdwatchers flock to see riparian and high elevation birds, and natural history-lovers bask in old-growth forests and abundant wildflowers.

The Lost Lake area is home to critters that depend on old-growth forests, like cavity-nesting birds and mammals like pine martens and native bats.  High elevation and diverse habitats provide both excellent wildlife habitat and wildlife viewing opportunities.

In addition to Lost Lake's abundant beauty and natural history, Lost Lake is an ideal getaway for families.  With its flat, easy, shorline trail, the area offers great recreation opportunities including hiking, swimming, boating and camping. Sitting at 3200 feet, Lost Lake is an especially great place to cool off on hot summer days.

The Dirt

Oregon Wild and other conservation groups are currently working to gain Wilderness protection for the Lost Lake area as part of the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness proposal.  Wilderness protection would forever safeguard the land from logging, mining, and other development while preserving the public’s right to enjoy backcountry recreation.

Getting There

From Portland via Hood River (all paved roads)

From Portland go East on HWY 84 to Hood River and take exit 62.  Turn right on Cascade Ave (HWY 30) and continue for about a mile. Turn right on 13th St. and then right on 12th St.  12th St. becomes Tucker, which you will stay on (despite it turning right and left) until Tucker becomes Dee/ Hood River HWY.  Take the Dee HWY 6.5 miles to Dee, and exit Lost Lake Rd.  Follow Lost Lake Rd through Dee. Continue on Lost Lake Rd, which becomes FS road 13.  Follow FS Rd. 13 to Lost Lake.  The drive from Hood River takes about 45 minutes.

From Portland via ZigZag (4 miles of unpaved road)

From HWY 26 turn north onto Lolo Pass Rd (FS Rd. 18) and go 10.5 miles to FS Rd. 1810. Stay on FS Rd 1810 for 4 miles until it reconnects with FS Rd. 18.  Follow FS Rd 18 to FS Rd. 13, and turn left (south) and follow FS Rd. 13 to Lost Lake.

The lake is privately held and requires a $6 day fee (per car) for parking.


The Lost Lake Shoreline Trail #656 is easy and full of breathtaking views of Mount Hood and Lost lake Butte, making this an ideal hike for families or beginning hikers.  In just 3 miles you can enjoy the beauty of Lost Lake's wildflowers and old-growth forests, or even a splash in the lake! Lost Lake's high elevation offers cool relief on hot summer days, as does the general store where kids and adults alike can enjoy an ice cream treat.

If you're up for more hiking, circle half-way around the lake and head up the Huckleberry Mountain Trail #617 to the Pacific Crest Trail.  From there you can enjoy more stunning views of Mount Hood and the Bull Run watershed.  This additional hike is moderate and is 7.5 miles round trip back to the Lost Lake parking lot.

For More Information

The Forest Services' Mount Hood website also contains useful info. For more information about camping, cabins, and canoe rental at Lost Lake, visit the Lost Lake Resort website.

Photo by T.J. Thorne.