5 Best Things to Do in Mirror Lake (Oregon)

swimming into the lake

Mirror Lake is a beautiful glacial lake with an oval shape and a depth of about 20 feet (about 6 meters).

It is located in northwestern Oregon and falls within Mount Hood National Forest.

Recently, the lake has become very popular with tourists, especially from nearby places such as Portland, which is only 29 miles (almost 47 km) away.

As most visitors come here on the weekend, usually the days between Monday and Friday are very quiet and good for recreation.

In addition to the clean mountain air, Mirror Lake is surrounded by beautiful forests, dominated by Douglas fir, Noble fir, cedar trees and other conifers.

The lake is only 7.1 mi (11.4 km) southwest from Mount Hood, so in clear weather you will be able to enjoy a truly unique view to the snow cap of the mountain.

As it is located in a mountainous area at 4,107 feet (1,252 m) above sea level, the temperature in the heat of summer is very pleasant and usually varies between 66 and 72°F (approximately between 19 and 22°C).

Here’s what not to miss if you decide to visit this wonderful area:

1. Mirror Lake Trailhead

mirror lake trailhead
Mirror Lake Trailhead by Amy Meredith/Flickr

Mirror Lake Trailhead is a great starting point of your adventure in the area of Mirror Lake.

The hiking trail is 4.4 miles long (just over 7 km). Due to the lack of too steep sections, the level of difficulty is very low.

The best part is that the tourist trail ends with a loop along the shore of the lake.

If you want to travel with a pet, you can walk your dog here. This is not a problem as long as you keep it on leash. The trail runs under the shade of a beautiful pine forest.

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2. Hidden Lake Trail

hidden lake trail
Hidden Lake Trail by Amy Meredith/Flickr

On the southwest side of Mount Hood, at the foot of the mountain, you will find a wonderful hiking trail.

Known as the Hidden Lake Trail, it runs through uniquely beautiful landscapes. Its length is about 8.39 miles (or about 13.5 km).

While walking, you enjoy the pleasant shade of the dense forest, dominated by various coniferous trees, especially the popular Douglas fir.

Summer is the best time to visit this place, especially during the months of July and August.

3. Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain

mount hood and mirror lake
Mount Hood and Mirror Lake by Lisa Norwood/Flickr

1.5 miles south from Mirror Lake is the scenic Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain.

With its height of 5,065 ft (1,544 meters), the peak is not difficult to climb but reveals a breathtaking panoramic view of the lake and the entire surrounding area.

This is one of the best places in the vicinity to take pictures from.

Right in front of you to the north is Mirror Lake and to the northeast is the snow cap of Mount Hood.

The best time to climb the peak is in summer.

4. Swimming into the lake

swimming into the lake
Swimming into the lake by ca_heckler/Flickr

If you come here on a hot summer day and if you are a good swimmer, you may be tempted to refresh yourself into the cold water.

The lake is very clear, and the surface is smooth like a mirror (hence the name).

On sunny summer days the color of the water is irresistibly emerald green.

A small beach has formed at one end of the lake. The water temperature is around 55°F (around 12°C) even in summer.

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5. Nordic Skiing in winter

nordic skiing in winter
Nordic Skiing in winter by Lydia Brooks/Flickr

Although most travelers prefer to visit Mirror Lake in summer, winter is a special season and definitely has its advantages.

In addition to the smaller number of visitors, the winter months offer really great conditions for practicing a variety of individual winter sports.

If you love skiing or just enjoy walking in the snow, you will find perfect conditions here.

The combination of mild weather and deep snow cover is tempting.

In fact, the surroundings of Mirror Lake are considered one of the top spots for Nordic Skiing during the winter season in the United States.