Mount Hood Hike

Oregon's Trillium Lake Loop Trail makes winter trekking a breeze.

A person snowshoeing on the Trillium Lake Loop Trail

A walk around, or across, Trillium Lake offers an eyeful.

You don’t have to climb a mountain or cross a desert to find Oregon’s most breathtaking views. Two miles into the Trillium Lake Loop Trail, a gently graded and carefully groomed snowshoe and cross-country ski route, you look past the hemlock forest to Mount Hood rising over the frozen lake in a vista so perfect its picture graces many a calendar and postcard.

In its remaining 2.5 miles, the path leads by Summit Meadow, which lies on Barlow Road, part of the Oregon Trail built to bypass the dangerous and costly ride down the Columbia River. If you’re still chilly when you return to your car, the Ice Axe Grill in nearby Government Camp has just the thing: the Muddy Fork Signature Hot Chocolate, a confection of Dutch cocoa, English toffee, and whipped cream.

To get there, take Highway 26 to the lot at National Forest Development Road 2656. For more information contact Mt. Hood National Forest, (503) 668-1700, or see tinyurl.com/trillium-lake-loop.

Photography by David Collier

This article was first published in November 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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