“Even places you know well can take on a touch of the unknown when you arrive there from a different direction.”
― Kate Milford
The road to Trillium Lake is open for the season!
Trillium Lake never really closes. It’s a VERY popular snowshoe and cross country ski trail during the winter months. When he snow finally melts from the pavement and the gates open to vehicle traffic, there is no better sign that Spring has arrived on Mount Hood, and summer is just around the corner.
It is no secret that my family spends a lot of time up here during the warmer weather months. As the lake is a short 15 minute drive from my home in the foothills, we can often be found here fishing from the shore or paddling our canoe through the reflection of Mount Hood. When I heard that the gates had once again been opened, and the mercury was pushing 90 in town, I had to take a drive up to confirm the good news for myself.
Apparently, the secret was already out. Even on a Wednesday evening, the parking lot was full and the shores were dotted with families fishing, photographers setting up their tripods in anticipation of the sunset to come, and a group of friends playing guitars and serenading the rest of us up there to enjoy the cool mountain breezes.
Even with the “crowds”, my daughters and I were able to find a spot to ourselves to enjoy our picnic dinner.
It didn’t take long before my youngest, Odessa, had stripped down to her swimsuit and was swimming in the lake. Yes, it may seem a bit crazy to swim in an alpine lake this early in May, but, to her the water is never too cold and it was just too much to resist.
Soon, my oldest, Sage, was wading in the lake and catching salamanders while I snapped pictures of the lake and mountain.
“Fishing” for salamanders
Run salamander! Run!
After such a wonderful night at the lake, it was REALLY hard to pack up and say farewell – but – this was just the first of many visits until the snow falls and the gates to the road are locked once again.
Plan Your Own Visit:
Sage saying “Good Night” to the lake.
At the time of my visit the campground was not yet open for the season. It’s a safe bet that it will be by the time the Memorial Day holiday weekend rolls around. This is one of the most popular campgrounds on Mount Hood, so either plan to get here early on a busy weekend, or make reservations.
Not into camping but want to enjoy this billion dollar view of Mount Hood yourself? There are many lodging options available in the Villages of Mount Hood – among them The Resort at the Mountain a short drive away in Welches, iconic Timberline Lodge “up the hill”, or even a cabin in the national forest from Mount Hood Vacation Rentals.
About an hour from Portland, it makes for an easy day trip. There is a large picnic area, easy fishing from the shore, a two mile trail around the lake, and many gravel roads for mountain biking. There is a $5.00 day use fee, so bring cash for the pay box.