After a couple weekends of big travel and adventure, we decided to keep this weekend a little closer to home. While I was doing some much needed bike cleaning and tuning, Mia was searching through 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon for something close.
Mia picked the Mirror Lake and additional Tom, Dick & Harry loop for our little adventure. This trailhead is a little less than an hour from our place. Mt Hood itself is just barely over an hour, so it makes for a totally doable day trip.
The trailhead parking area is small, and it was packed, so we had to park on the side of the road and cross route 26 at a run. You quickly enter the woods though and are on a very packed and easily followed trail.
The trails out here in the West are very different from my New England experiences. Here the trails are packed dirt, with some roots and the occasional rocky area. They are more meandering and tend to keep the grades relatively easy. New England, and specifically the Whites in NH tend to be steep, rocky and have a more “direct to the top” nature. I’m sure there are trails like this out here, we just have not found them yet.
The guide book indicated that this is a very popular hike. That’s no exaggeration. We passed at least 20 people hiking up with us, and probably another 15 or so coming down. It’s only 1.75 miles to Mirror Lake. We did it in about 33 minutes.
There are 6 designated campsites around the lake. We made note of their locations for a future “expedition” as we hiked around the lake. Only 1 had not yet been claimed, but would probably be taken by the group of boy scouts we passed on the way up the trail.
There are some really spectacular views of Mt Hood from the lake, and it is no surprise why it is such a popular hike and camping spot.
From Mirror Lake, it is another 1.5 miles to some beautiful views atop Tom, Dick & Harry.
There was one additional camping spot near a huge 6 foot cairn about 3/10th of a mile from the top of Tom, Dick & Harry. I’m not sure if it is an official spot or not, but it did have a rock fire ring and had obviously been used quite a bit.
The last little push to the top took no time at all, and was the most “rocky” section of the trail. We had great views of the Mt Hood Wilderness, could see Jefferson way off in the distance and it was just a nice spot to hang out for a mid hike snack of cheese, crackers and apple.
The next thing I am adjusting to out here in Oregon is the height of things. You see, Mt Hood is just over 11,000′ and the Tom, Dick & Harry sits at right around 5,000′. Having hiked all of NH’s 4,000+’ peaks, I know size is relative, but man it is just impressive to look at peaks reaching well over 10K feet.
Well, that about sums it up.
Thanks for reading,