Portland, OR: Mirror Lake

This popular 3-mile lollipop loop visits a small, subalpine lake featuring a front-row view of Mt. Hood, and an option to continue to a higher viewpoint.
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This popular 3-mile lollipop loop visits a small, subalpine lake featuring a front-row view of Mt. Hood, and an option to continue to a higher viewpoint.

Take the drive up to Mt. Hood on any clear spring or summer day and notice the masses of parked cars along the roadside just west of Government Camp—they're all there for the Mirror Lake hike. Justifiably so, because this short, fairly easy trail offers glorious views of glacier-capped Mt. Hood reflected in the still waters of the forest-rimmed lake. Bag this one on a weekday and get it all to yourself. 

At the roadside trailhead, cross a small wooden bridge and start a short climb to an interpretive sign and larger bridge crossing Camp Creek. The trail then winds up through shady forest on gentle grade and switchbacks up an exposed rockfall slope for the next 1.2 miles. Where the trail levels, come to a fork offering the lake loop or Tom, Dick & Harry Mtn; take the left fork bridging Mirror Lake's outlet and start a clockwise circuit around the lake. The lower shoreline offers views of the Tom, Dick & Harry Mtn ridge above, while the upper shoreline - along a planked boardwalk - gives the big payoff for this hike—Mt. Hood in all its glory.

As you complete the loop, an option to continue another 1.8 miles up to the higher viewpoint atop Tom, Dick & Harry Mtn is available. Otherwise, finish the loop at the earlier junction, and return to your starting point along the same route.

More info: Mt. Hood National Forest

Mapped by Eli Boschetto Bosco Mountain Photo

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.7

Waypoints

MIR001

Location: 45.306568, -121.791475

Mirror Lake trailhead.

MIR002

Location: 45.305478, -121.792143

Interpretive sign and bridge over creek.

MIR003

Location: 45.298622, -121.793023

Fork left (E) over log bridge for lake loop.

MIR004

Location: 45.297056, -121.794214

Divert right (E) on boardwalk to Mirror Lake and Mt. Hood viewpoint.

MIR005

Location: 45.297713, -121.793672

Side trail breaks left (NW) up to Tom, Dick and Harry Mtn. Continue straight (NE) to complete lake loop and return.

Mirror Trailhead

Location: 45.306561, -121.791419

The Mirror Lake trail can be extremely crowded on weekends. Do this one on a weekday and have it all to yourself.

Crossing

Location: 45.305478, -121.792014

An interpretive sign at the crossing of Camp Creek offers info on the area.

Shady Trail

Location: 45.304293, -121.794418

The fairly easy Mirror Lake trail is covered for much of the way by cool forest.

Lake Loop

Location: 45.298573, -121.792738

Where the trail forks for Mirror Lake or Tom, Dick & Harry Mtn, veer left over a small bridge to start the lake loop.

Western Trillium

Location: 45.297615, -121.791558

The shoreline of Mirror Lake is dotted in late spring with clumps of these 3-leaved beauties.

Mirror Lake

Location: 45.297222, -121.793962

From a short boardwalk on the west side of the lake, enjoy views of Mt. Hood.