Trail

Todd Lake, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon

Bend, OR
Length: 1.70 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

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ACTIVITIES: Paddling, splashing, hiking, camping

LENGTH OF HIKE: 1.7 miles

OUT AND BACK OR LOOP: Loop

DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN: Easy

ELEVATION GAIN: No

PARKING FEE/PASS: Yes

TOILETS: No

CHANGING TABLE: No

NURSING BENCHES: No

DOGS ALLOWED: Yes

BIKES/HORSES/MOTORS ON TRAIL: No

CELL RECEPTION: No

DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE: No

POTENTIAL CHILD OR BABY HAZARDS: Lake, giardia

GEAR SUGGESTIONS: Swim gear, extra shoes for wet feet or water shoes, water filter

The hike around the lake starts out from a small parking lot that can hold about 20 cars. It’s flat and well marked with little foot bridges that, in some cases, are just boards across streams trickling into the lake. Come at the right time of year and you
will be greeted by hundreds of tiny thumbnail-sized frogs hopping around that will eventually be fullsized Western toads and Cascade frogs, both of which are endangered species due to habitat changes.

This area gets its namesake from John Y. Todd, an early settler in Oregon. The area was originally called “Lost Lake,” but the name was changed due to confusion from a few other Lost Lakes that were also in Oregon.

To date, this was one of our favorite hikes in Oregon with Mason. We loved it so much because it was so easy for a 3-year-old to hike the whole thing by himself. We took a long break in the middle, going for a swim, and then had a picnic on the
grassy lakeshore. While there definitely were a number of people hiking the area, it never felt crowded because the area is so open and it’s easy to hike off away from everyone and sit lakeside or hike up the mountain for a better view. While there, we saw families fishing, one guy had an easel set up and was painting the spectacular view of the lake and Mount Bachelor towering over, and we saw a group of elderly hikers, as well as a group of solo mamas with their kids. This trail is definitely great for multigenerational hikes because it’s so gentle and easy to navigate. One piece of advice is to bring water-friendly shoes or plan on having very wet feet when you get
back. There will be no way to keep your toddler out of all the little stream crossings. It’s way too fun to stomp through these!

This area does see a lot of snow throughout the year, so expect to not be able to get out on the roads until June, and usually it’s no longer passable by early October. If you do make it to this area between June and early August, expect an amazing
wildflower bloom. This area is one of Oregon’s designated Pacific Northwest Region wildflower viewing areas.

INSIDER’S TIP
There is camping in the area, however, it seems to be limited (3 spots), requires a permit, and is closed a good chunk of the year. If you want to camp in the area, we suggest heading about 15 minutes down the road to Sparks Lake. There is also phenomenal hiking in that area and both paid and free camping.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, and Summer
Surface type Dirt
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception None
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

Camping Nearby, Creek / River, Mud Puddles, Viewpoint, and Wildlife Viewing

WHY IT’S A FAVORITE
“Todd Lake is a magical place with everything you could need for introducing an adventuring toddler to hiking. There’s a clear lake, easy-to-cross bridges, no elevation gain, and beautiful views of Mount Bachelor over the lake.” —SHANTI AND MARK HODGES

Trail Contributor

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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.