Tag Archives: Timothy Lake

Timothy Lake- West Side (Summer 2017)

Directions: Take Highway 26 about 40 miles past the town of Sandy to Skyline Road. Turn right onto Skyline Road and follow it for a little over 8 miles to a junction with FR 57. Turn right and drive for about 3.5 miles where you will cross over the dam. Turn right and a short distance later come to an intersection. Go right into the parking area.

We did this hike on a day with VERY thick wildfire smoke. We couldn’t see Mt. Hood at all which was a bummer but this was still a nice hike.

Head off on Timothy Lake Trail #528 that’s lined with trees, beargrass, and rhododendron bushes. You’re hiking right next to campsites nearly the whole time. We were here very early so most people were still sleeping so it was quiet. I’d imagine it could get pretty noisy and busy during peak camping season.


The trail is flat almost the whole time, it switches from being wide to a bit narrow. It’s mostly dirt and rock, it’s been dry so we kicked up a lot of dust while we were here. Our legs were pretty filthy 😆. You’ll be near the lake the whole time and there are many side trails that take you right to the edge of the lake. You’ll cross a couple footbridges and mostly just wind through a very pretty lakeside trail.


About 3 miles in you’ll come to where the lake narrows. The water color was a pretty green here and there are some places to stop and rest if needed. We decided this was a nice place to stop to make an out and back trip of 6 miles. If you go to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail you will have a roughly 7 mile hike. So head back out the way you came in.


This isn’t the most exciting hike and you don’t get a super quiet nature feel with walking by about 12+ different campsites. Still, the lake and trail are very pretty. We’re definitely coming back but probably in fall when people aren’t camping much. Make sure to walk by the dam, it’s pretty interesting!

Distance: 6 miles (moderate)

Elevation: 60 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $5 NW Forest Pass

Seasons: Spring through fall

Popular: Yes

Warnings: None

Little Crater Lake to Timothy Lake (Summer 2015)

Directions: Take Highway 26 past Government Camp and Frog Lake to Skyline Road. Follow Skyline Road to Abbott Road (there are signs for Little Crater Lake). Take Abbott Road to the Little Crater Lake Campground. Drive through the campground to the end where there is a small parking area at the trailhead.

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From the trailhead take the paved path through a grassy field for a short distance, then you will enter a wooded area that quickly drops you at Little Crater Lake. There is a viewing platform and the trail turns into a boardwalk. Little Crater Lake is pretty small, it’s more the size of a pond. But it’s very deep, cold, and bright blue. When we first got to the lake it was still very early in the morning and it didn’t look very bright and the reflection off the surrounding trees obscured our view. It’s best viewing times are when the sun is up and shining on the lake, we got a much better view on our way back out.

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Continue on the boardwalk trail past the lake and cross a few springs. The trail soon reenters the woods and you pass through a fenced horse area. This is where you meet up with the Pacific Crest Trail. Take a left here and soon you will reach a bridge that crosses over Little Crater Creek. The trail continues on at a very even grade as you hike through a more wooded area. There are side trails that take you to the edge of the creek. Some are worth the side trip, we were able to see a large Beaver Lodge.

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Continuing on the trail you’ll pass more views of the creek as you gradually start to head uphill a bit. Soon, you’ll start to get some looks at Timothy Lake through the trees and you’ll pass an open area by the waters edge that’s a campsite. Keep going past the campsite uphill through the woods. You’ll be following above a narrow part of the lake at this point. When the trail starts to level out a bit you’ll come to a few areas that you can take a side trail down to the Lake. These couple of areas are the stopping point for this hike and they offer nice logs to sit on and have lunch, relax and take in the lake view. To get back to your car head back the way you came in.


If you want to extend your hike there is a 12 mile loop around Timothy Lake.

Distance: 4.5 miles (easy)

Elevation: 200 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: No

Seasons: Late spring through fall.

Popular: Can be during summer weekends.

Warnings: None