Another weekend and another hike. Mia’s been on a roll and picked out Timothy Lake for a 13 mile jaunt this weekend. To add to the excitement we started at Little Crater Lake, which is kind of in the middle of nowhere and a very cool little feature to see.
The forecast for the Portland area was more or less showers all weekend. Forecast for the Mt. Hood area was a bit more favorable though. Just sprinkles with occasional showers. Although we passed through a few downpours on the way out, when we got onto the south side of Hood, it was actually much nicer.
We started out the hike at Little Crater Lake Campground. We were only the 3rd car there and we got a late start.
Little Crater Lake is like nothing I have ever seen before. It is 45′ deep at the deepest part and the water is a chilly 34 degrees! It’s also the clearest water I have ever seen. The bottom looks like you can just reach in and touch it.
The lake is a whopping 200 yards into the start of our hike, so you can definitely say you got a pretty quick ROI on effort to views.
The trail then continues on to meet up with the Pacific Crest Trail, which is more or less the west coast’s version of the Appalachian Trail. We once again are in complete amazement of the trails out here. They are so buffed out and are not nearly as rough as other hikes I have done back east.
With very little elevation (200 gain for the whole hike) it was easy to keep up a brisk pace. Also, with very little exception, you are walking along the lake for almost the entire hike.
Horses, hikers and bikers are allowed on this trail While we only saw two other couples hiking the trail all day, there were random tire tracks, and lots of horse poop to dodge!
After just 4.5 miles we hit the shoreline of the lake and stopped for a snack. Being at a pretty constant 3300′ feet the temps where in the low 50’s. Toss in the clouds and a breeze across the lake, and it was actually kinda chilly.
From about 4.5 miles until close to mile 10 you are walking along the shoreline or within a stones throw. You walk through 4 campgrounds too. They all officially closed last weekend except one. This was probably the biggest reason we only saw 4 other people all day hiking the trail. The one campsite that was still open was quite busy with campers though.
At one point you walk across a dam that created this reservoir and the water was just blasting out of the low side. Portland General Electric uses this dam to send water further down river to power some turbines, more or less using the lake as a storage facility during the summer months.
The view from the dam looking back at the lake was pretty decent too.
At this point it had started to drizzle too. We had to put on our rain jackets and I put the rain cover over my backpack just to play it safe.
The rain did not last long, but we kept our stuff on just in case…….
It was a great hike. Add to it the almost total lack of other people and it was a good day of solitude for Mia and myself.
We are going to head back here (maybe soon) and try mountain biking around the lake. We’ve also made the decision that we are going to have to camp here next summer.
Thanks for reading.