Trail

Mirror Lake, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

Portland, OR
Length: 4.20 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 2    Average: 3/5]

ACTIVITIES: Hiking, splashing, fishing, camping

LENGTH OF HIKE: 4.2 miles

OUT AND BACK OR LOOP: Out and back

DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN: Moderate

ELEVATION GAIN: 672 feet

PARKING FEE/PASS: Yes

TOILETS: No

CHANGING TABLE: No

NURSING BENCHES: No

DOGS ALLOWED: Yes

BIKES/HORSES/MOTORS ON TRAIL: No

CELL RECEPTION: Spotty

DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE: No

POTENTIAL CHILD OR BABY HAZARDS: Lake

GEAR SUGGESTIONS: Hiking poles, bug spray

Just one of the many beautiful hikes in the Mount Hood area, Mirror Lake is an excellent choice with toddlers and babies because of both the shorter distance and the reward of the mountain and lake views. Here’s the warning we will give about this hike: It’s a butt burner on the way up. There are some bridges to cross and a point where you’ll reach some solid switchbacks, but that said, most of it can be hiked by a little one who is used to hiking. If you’re a flatlander, plan to take it slow
because this hike is at 4,000 feet above sea level.

What we like about this trail is that it’s fairly wide, and once you reach the lake, the 0.5 mile around the lake is completely flat and will give you a lot of picture-perfect moments of Mount Hood and Mirror Lake. You’ll also enjoy the boardwalks around the lake that help preserve the landscape and keep hikers in the area on trail.

Wildlife you can expect to see here are blacktailed deer, chipmunks, squirrels, maybe red foxes, coyotes, gophers, mice, and maybe even black bears if you are lucky. They keep themselves pretty well hidden in this area, though.

If you’re feeling up for another climb, head up Tom Dick and Harry for an additional 1.8 miles and an even more impressive view of the area. This is
not very kid friendly, and there is some scrambling at the top, so you might consider leaving one parent and kid behind for the quick climb. Or consider
spending the weekend here and camp at Mirror Lake Campground.

If you choose to camp, bring your bug spray because as the temps cool, the bugs come out fiercely due to the proximity of water. There are six campsites scattered around the lake, so they can fill up quickly on a weekend. It helps that they are walk-in and that the Mount Hood area has plenty of dispersed free camping.

A pass is required for parking at this location, so make sure you have either a Northwest Forest Pass or a National Parks Pass displayed in your window. Rangers do frequent this spot and will ticket. Make sure to note that Mirror Lake Trail is closed from November 1 to April 30.

INSIDER’S TIP
If you like huckleberry milkshakes, head up the road into Government Camp and look for the Huckleberry Inn. Also consider making a quick drive up to Timberline Lodge if you are there in the summer. The beautiful old lodge was built in 1937
as part of a Conservation Corps project during the Great Depression. It’s also the building you see in the classic Stanley Kubrick movie featuring Jack Nicholson, “The Shining.” Hiking around the lodge is fun for kids, and if you look up on the mountain, you can see skiers and snowboarders shredding the glacier in the summer.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, and Summer
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 672 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

Boardwalk, Camping Nearby, Fishing, Lake, and Wildlife Viewing

WHY IT’S A FAVORITE
“Mirror Lake is special because it gives you so much! You start out in the woods where the trees tower above you, then you get to this rocky wonderland where, if you are lucky to see one, pica are squeaking. The hike continues, and just when you think you’ve had enough of carrying the baby on your back, you get to the lake. You take a breather and stare at Mount Hood in all of its majesty” —LYDIA AGUNDEZ

Trail Contributor

[Total: 2    Average: 3/5]

Hike it Baby Trail Guide is managed by the Family Trail Guide team. If a trail has been “abandoned” by the initial owner, it gets adopted by the team. Also, if there are no trails in the area, the Family Trail Guide team researches trails that are family friendly in the area to insure that hikes cover all areas where Hike it Baby hikes.

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