Mirror Lake #664

mirror-lake

Trail Highlights

Views of Mt Hood from a small backcountry lake are a big draw for this trail. Mirror Lake is a classic glacial cirque lake. The steep slopes south and southwest of Mirror Lake are the glacier cirque headwall. Hiking up to Tom Dick Ridge gives a more challenging hike with a view of the Cascade Range. This trail is heavily visited.

Trail Description

The 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the lake gains 700 feet at a steady but not too steep climb. The trail surface is wider than average to the lake. Once at the lake there is a trail around the lake. From the southwest corner of the lake the trail continues up across the slope and onto the ridge top of Tom Dick Mt. This upper section of the trail is rougher and narrower. The last 200 yards of trail is steeper and rockier still to a view point at the trail’s end. While many visit the area in the winter, it is not built or maintained for winter travel.

Regulations & Leave No Trace Information

The Mirror Lake area has required significant restoration due to impacts from visitors. You will note that some areas are fenced off to allow for restoration to flourish.

Leave No Trace Principles:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces – Hike, camp, rest and play on durable surfaces. Stay off all vegetation. Do not “cut switchbacks”.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly – Pack out all food scraps including crumbs and apple cores. Critters, big or small, should not be given the opportunity to associate people with food scrapes. It habituates them and our food in not appropriate for them.
  • Leave What You Find – Take only photos.
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts – Camp stoves are preferred. If you choose to have a fire do it away from the lake (outside the lake trail) in an existing site, keep it small (12” flame length and 12” diameter). Use only small wood that is on the ground. Make sure your fire is completely out – ice cold – before leaving it.
  • Respect Wildlife – note above regarding waste.
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors – Dogs on leashes please.

Directions to Trailhead

Mirror Lake Trailhead is located one mile west of the Village of Government Camp on Hwy 26 at milepost 51.7. It is on the south side of Hwy 26 where a footbridge crosses Camp Creek. If driving from Zigzag, it is 9.2 miles east of the Zigzag Ranger Station. There is no trailhead signing, but the parking area is large.

 

For more information, visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mthood/null/recarea/?recid=53430&actid=70


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Northwest Forest Pass
Distance 3 miles around lake round trip
Elevation 3500'-4900'
Snow Free Late May to Early November
Difficulty More difficult
Uses Hikers, XC Skiers, Snowshoers