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Sunrise over Mt Hood with the mountain's reflection casting itself across the deserted still waters of Trillium late
| 08/12/2019 | Summer

Favorite Laid Back Lakes In Mt. Hood Territory

Adventuring near the water is beloved in Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory. Hanging out at the lake, making memories with friends and family and enjoying the views is a dream. But which lake is best for you? It just so happens that Mt. Hood Territory has more than a few to choose from.


Timothy Lake, Mt Hood

Timothy Lake:

Perhaps not as well-known as its man-made cousin Trillium, Timothy Lake is still a beautiful spot that offers stellar views of nearby Mt. Hood. It's a little further out than some others, but it's worth the extra travel time, as it offers great fishing, sailing and kayaking options. It's also one of the few lakes that allows motorized boating. Plus, there's a scenic 16-mile bike trail around the lake that makes for a nice, scenic ride. After a full day of biking and fishing, rest up at one of the several campgrounds that ring the lake.


Fishing on North Fork Reservoir at Promontory Point


North Fork Reservoir:

Located along the Clackamas River just east of the City of Estacada, the North Fork Reservoir is part of a power generation system owned by Portland General Electric (PGE). Sure that comes in handy, but we like it more for its excellent fishing, as it's known for schools of rainbow trout that are quite accommodating with their willingness to grab your lure. It's a great spot to take the kids for that milestone moment of catching their first fish. Late summer/early fall is the best season for fishing. Make sure your licenses are up to date, and your fishing line is fresh. You're going to need it.


Little Crater Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest

Little Crater Lake:

Little Crater Lake takes its name from the blue, clear waters of its famous, much larger namesake further south in Oregon. Located a mere 600 or so feet from the Pacific Crest Trail, Little Crater Lake is a natural feature fed from an artesian well. That means the water is cold, around 42 degrees or colder year-round. So while swimming is not allowed, it's a perfect spot for a picnic or to spend a night at the nearby campground.




Burnt Lake:

The 6.6-mile, out and back hike to Burnt Lake is well worth your while. Along the way you'll experience an enchanting forest, which provides plenty of shade from the heat. You will be rewarded with beautiful views of a crisp alpine lake and, if you're lucky, a stunning view of Mt. Hood. You may even want to add a loop around the lake to your hike, which is less than one mile. We suggest packing a picnic to enjoy while there. Don't be intimidated by the unpaved road; even a low-to-the-ground sedan can make it. 


Lake Harriett Day Use Area

Lake Harriet:

This PGE lake has been called "the best kept secret on Mt. Hood." Located near Timothy Lake, it's regularly stocked with rainbow trout and also has a nice population of cutthroat and brown trout. It's open year-round for day use, with a $5 fee.


Woman paddleboarding near a waterfall on Estacada Lake Clackamas River

Estacada Lake

This beautiful little gem is a reservoir along the Clackamas River, accessed from Milo McIver State Park, which sits on its northwestern section, while Estacada sits on its eastern shores. Estacada Lake is popular with anglers as it's regularly stocked with trout. It's also a great lake for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, as its calm waters and scenic views make for a peaceful outing. 

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