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oregon trail guide

Deschutes River Trail

Peterson Ridge

Phil's Trail

Phil's Helipad

East Fork Hood River
(Mt. Hood)

Suttle Lake

Timothy Lake
(Mt. Hood)

Tumalo Falls


Timothy Lake

Length: 16 miles
Type: Loop
Duration: 3  Hours
Elevation Gain: 800 Feet

To Reach:

From Portland, take US-26 East up Mt. Hood, past Government Camp, past the Highway 35 Turnoff to Hood River, and you'll see signs to Timothy Lake and Olallie Lake to the right.  Turn right at the sign (Forest Road 42), and continue 8.3 miles to the junction with Forest Road 57.  Turn right and continue 3.6 miles (passing four great campgrounds on your right) and cross over the dam.  Turn right and drive 0.1 miles to a road intersection.  Turn right on a gravel road and travel 0.1 miles to the Timothy Lake 528 trailhead parking area.

Mountain Biking at Timothy Lake on Mt. Hood, Oregon

Trip Report:

We found this trailhead without too much problem.  Turn right just as you pass the dam, and you'll find yourself at the Day Use Area and the Trailhead for Timothy Lake Trail 528.  The sign says 13 miles round-trip, but that is for hikers.  We didn't think anything of this at the time...

The weather was beautiful and the sun shimmered off the crystal clear lake as we pondered whether to eat lunch before or after the ride.  After some Gazing at Timothy Lake before Mountain Bikingdebating, we headed down the smooth singletrack trail.  The trail was wide, with relatively few roots.  The trail mostly heads through the woods, though you could see the lake through the trees.    Everything was going along well, until we reached an intersection with a sign telling us to dismount our bikes for 600 feet. We did as instructed, and walked across a couple of bridges.  At the end of the 600 feet, signs told us that the remainder of the Pacific Crest trail was closed to bikes and bikers had to take the 1916 trail, diverging away from the lake.  We begrudgingly headed up the 1916 trail, which was narrow and rocky, nothing like the Timothy Lake Trail.  After a mile or so of continual uphill, we reached a gravel road.

A sign on the far side of the road said "Timothy Lake Trail Left 1 Mile / FR42 Right 2 miles"  To the right was a rocky dirt road heading uphill, and to the left was a nice gravel road heading downhill.  We followed the sign and headed down the gravel road.  Naturally, this was the wrong way.  THE SIGN IS WRONG!!  After blazing downhill for a half-mile, and churning uphill for another half-mile, we hit a paved road.  We turned right, and within another mile of uphill, we found Forest Road 42, the main road.  The sign read "Timothy Lake 5 miles". 

Unhappily, we pedalled uphill for another couple of miles up the road before it turned to a nice downhill coast all the way to the lake.  We passed a couple of signs along the way for various trails, but Sandra was cruising way ahead of me, so I had to follow her (my bike needed serviced).  Eventually we got to the campground and I lectured her about staying together and threatened to eat her lunch. 

After eating lunch at the day area, we drove back to the gravel road to see where the real trail was, and it was increasingly obvious that it went up the rocky dirt road.  We drove up the dirt road until the trees hung too low for our car-top bike rack.  We 4x4'd a bit to turn around, scratching up our Infiniti 4x4 in the process (grr...).   We passed another group on the way out who had also made the erroneious turn.  We steered them in the right direction.  Next time we'll get it right!!! 

The part of this ride that was on the trail was a lot of fun, and not difficult at all.  We're looking forward to seeing what the rest of it is like.  The lake is beautiful, and even though we missed half the trail, it was a wonderful afternoon.


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