13 Best Things to Do in Lost Lake (Oregon)

swimming

The Pacific Northwest is especially attractive in the heat of summer when abnormally high temperatures hit most of the United States.

Because of its fresh climate and pleasant temperatures, the region attracts millions of visitors in July and August.

Oregon is one of the most popular destinations in this part of the United States.

In addition to its mild weather, it combines a huge variety of landscapes, ranging from endless beaches to snow-capped mountain peaks.

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Located 85 miles from Portland, amidst the dense coniferous vegetation of Mount Hood National Forest in northern Oregon, Lost Lake is an extremely beautiful place and is a favorite spot to camp for nature lovers.

As it is located at 3,146 ft (959 m) above sea level, it offers extremely pleasant temperatures of around 73 – 74°F (23°C) during the months of July and August, and this is why the lake is an attractive recreational spot.

With its 174 ft (53 m), Lost Lake is the deepest lake within Mount Hood National Forest.

It covers an area of 99.1 ha (245 acres), so you can always find a secluded spot for a weekend getaway.

If you’ve decided to spend your next summer vacation on the shores of Lost Lake, here’s what not to miss:

1. Spend a summer night and enjoy the night sky

shooting star and milky way above lost lake
Shooting Star and Milky Way above Lost Lake by Antony Caldaroni/Flickr

Whether you’re in the vicinity of Lost Lake on a clear frosty night in January or on one of those magical summer nights in July, it’s one of the best places to observe the night sky in the United States.

Oregon has always been considered one of the most attractive places to enjoy the stars and the Milky Way from the US.

It is enough to choose a period of clear and cloudless weather.

Thanks to the fact that you are far from the lights of big cities and you are at a high altitude, the view is amazing.

2. Enjoy the view of Mount Hood

lost lake and mt. hood in the background
Lost Lake and Mt. Hood in the background by Peter Roome/Flickr

Lost Lake reveals exceptional views of Mount Hood.

Covered with its easily recognizable white cap, it rises to 11,249 ft (3,429 m) above sea level and is visible from almost every point in the vicinity of the lake.

Although it is often covered with clouds, on clear days the top reveals itself to you in all its glory.

The most beautiful is the view from the north shore of the lake, where you can take some really great pictures from.

3. Meet the new day

misty morning
Misty morning by Ian Sane/Flickr

Lost Lake looks like a magical place, especially at sunrise.

Gradually, the golden rays of the sun rise behind the pine trees, casting yellow and orange shadows over the lake water.

This place is especially beautiful at sunrise in late summer.

As the nights gradually get colder, but the water is still warm, mysterious-looking vapours slowly float over the water surface for a while.

4. Try some pedal boating

pedal boating
Pedal boating by Ted/Flickr

There is hardly another place where riding a pedal boat is so easy.

The water is always calm, and the lack of water currents makes this pleasure appropriate even for people who have never tried something like this before.

If you want to try some pedal boating, you should go to the Lost Lake Boat Rental Dock on the northeastern shore of the lake.

5. Or maybe some canoeing

boats, kayaks and canoes
Boats, kayaks and canoes by LDELD/Flickr

Because of its calm and mirrored waters, Lost Lake is a great place for canoe lovers.

You can rent the necessary equipment at Lost Lake Resort and Campground.

The advantages of the lake are numerous, and you will definitely have a wonderful day outside.

Don’t miss to stop for a short rest under the tempting shade of the pine trees along the shore.

6. Enjoy the forest trail loop around the lake

lost lake loop
Lost Lake Loop by Sam Szapucki/Flickr

One of the best experiences in the area of Lost Lake is to enjoy a long walk along the shore.

The forest trail loop, known as Lost Lake Loop, is 3.1 miles long and welcomes many visitors during the summer months from June to October, especially on weekends.

Of course, the pleasant coolness in the area makes the months of July and August the most preferred for a long walk along the coast.

You can also enjoy your walk with a dog as long as the dog is on leash. The route is easy and no special skills are required.

7. Take a photographic tour

picturesque landscape
Picturesque landscape by Chelsea Mock/Flickr

Lost Lake is a favourite place for photography lovers.

The landscape is very picturesque and photogenic, especially in areas with panoramic views.

The sunlight passes between the branches of emerald green pine trees, reflecting on the surface of the sapphire blue lake waters.

In some places you can find wonderful wild flowers that bring color to the blue-green landscape.

8. The best fishing in Oregon

Lost Lake is definitely one of the best fishing spots in Oregon.

Actually, according to many, it is the most popular in the entire Pacific Northwest.

The lake is very rich in fish, especially when it comes to rainbow trout and salmon.

As the lake is stocked in April and May, the best time for fishing is the late spring and early summer season.

9. Birdwatching

western tanager
Western Tanager by Deborah Lee Soltesz/Flickr

Thanks to the huge variety of birds, Lost Lake is an attractive place for birdwatching.

In fact, Mount Hood National Forest is home to more than 300 species of birds, including waterfowl and birds of prey, and most of them can be seen in the area.

The rich variety of fish in the lake is a safe and reliable source of food for most of them.

If you want to see more representatives of the local bird world, a keen eye and observation are needed, as birds often merge with the environment and go unnoticed.

10. Swimming

swimming
Swimming by Ted/Flickr

Lost Lake is a favorite swimming destination in Oregon.

The shores of the lake offer several very cozy and pleasant small beaches with many trees around, and the water is clear and smooth.

The water temperature is influenced by many different factors, such as air temperatures, snowmelt and rainfalls, but during the summer season it ranges between 15 and 24 degrees.

If you take into account the perfect weather in July and August with temperatures around 73 – 75°F (23 – 24°C), the lake is a paradise for water lovers.

But be careful. Lost Lake is very deep and at some points reaches 175 feet (53 meters).

11. Boating and canoeing

boating and canoeing
Boating and canoeing by Gary Windust/Flickr

Lost Lake is a great place to spend time outdoors.

The opportunity to rent a boat or a canoe and explore the area is a great way to combine some healthy light physical activity, fresh air and recreation.

You can rent a boat from Lost Lake Resort and Campground in the northern part of the lake.

12. Enjoy the wildlife (and keep distance!)

pine forest
Pine forest by Nick Perla/Flickr

Lost Lake is full of fish, but this is just a small part of the great biodiversity in the area.

The dense pine forest is home to numerous species of mammals, such as bears, deer, foxes, wolves, otters, beavers and many others.

However, you should know that most of the animals are afraid of people so you must keep a safe distance.

13. The hole

the hole
The hole by YouTube

Lost Lake is called like that not by accident.

In addition to its pristine beauty, it is well-known for a unique natural phenomenon.

Once a year, during the winter season, the lake drains into a mysterious hole on the bottom and disappears almost completely.

Seemingly not very deep, the hole is actually the entrance of a huge network of underground canals of volcanic origin.

According to scientists, the hole has probably always been here. It is believed that it plays a very important role and protects the area from floodings.

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