Directions: Drive Highway 26 past Government Camp, a few miles later you will see signs for Trillium Lake. Take the marked exit and follow the road for about two miles to the parking area.
Previous visits to Trillium Lake had been late October and a snowshoe in January. We didn’t see many people both times….this visit was so different. The parking lot was jammed fully by 9:30 and there was a ton of people on the trail and in the lake itself. Sadly I don’t think we will ever visit this lake again during the nicer weather months.
From the boat ramp we went left or clockwise around the lake. This side of the lake offers the best views of Mt. Hood but it’s also the most crowded area. People literally had blankets laid out on the actual trail and there was garbage everywhere. It was so disappointing to see. This is a beautiful lake and it was being treated like a garbage can. We strongly urge people to follow the Leave No Trace principles!
As you continue on around the lake some of the crowds start to thin. The trail switches between dirt and boardwalk and is lined with skunk cabbage. We saw an old beaver lodge and some blooming lily pads as well.
Once you’ve made it around to the other side of the lake you’ll pass an amphitheater and start getting views of Mt. Hood again. There are campsites on this side of the lake so it does become more crowded again. Not much farther past the campsites you’ll reach the boat ramp again completing the loop. For the most part the trail stays right next to the lake except in a few short areas. The trail is flat, well maintained, and easy to follow.
Distance: 2 miles (easy)
Elevation: 15 feet (easy)
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Parking Fee: $5 day use fee.