Directions: Take I-84 to Exit 44. Cross Bridge of the Gods ($2 toll). Take a left onto Highway 14 and follow it for a little over a mile. The trailhead is near Bonneville Dam on your right.
This hike starts from the Bonneville Trailhead for the Pacific Crest Trail and winds through public and private forest land up to the lake. You’ll pass through a couple clear cuts, one of which is clearly older, since things are starting to re-grow. The other still looks like the surface of the moon.
The trail is very easy to follow, and depending on how much rain there’s been recently, may be very muddy. The contrast between thick forest with easily visible signs of wildlife and devastated clear cuts and high-line wires from the BPA make for a very interesting hike.
Gillette Lake itself is really nice. The water is a neat blue-green color, and there are a few campsites. It’d be a nice place to cool off on a hot day.
Distance: 5.8 miles
Elevation: 650 feet
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Parking Fee: $5 NW Forest Pass
Overall: The lake is pretty but the hike is all over the place. Parts are nice but the clearcutting is pretty ugly.