Summer at Trillium Lake

A few months back Wifey and I picked up a new sport, going snowshoeing for the first time at Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood. This was in January, were the lake is covered with snow and ice, you park at the sno-park just off Highway 26, and then you hike two miles to the water.

At the time, between swearing about how this was insane and never again, we did agree we wanted to come back in the summer, when the day was clear and we could hike around the lake. Last Saturday was that day. (As always, click the picture for a bigger version.)

It's quite possible this is the most picturesque place in the state (or is it Crater Lake?), which given all the natual beauty in Oregon would be saying a lot. Still, check out that mountain reflected on the water... Perhaps it would be even better with more snow on it, or if the grayer small clouds were gone, but in my mind it's pretty damn fabulous.

It was also nice the lake wasn't overly busy. Sure, there were plenty of people near the dam and the campground was full, but I don't think I could actually call it "crowded."

And what would a trip to Trillium Lake be if I didn't take pictures of trilliums? Since it was July they weren't in bloom - maybe next spring we'll have to go there in early May, as soon as cars can drive to the lake, and catch some trilliums in bloom. (Hmm...these may not be trilliums - see the comments. What are they?)

Without a doubt there are more trilliums here in one place than I have ever seen in my life.

The trail winds around the lake, about two miles total. We did not walk all the way around because about a third of the way around we saw a sign about construction on the dam leaving that part closed, so we walked halfway and then back. Of course, when we came to the dam from the other side, there was no construction at all. (A later sign said the dam was closed Sun-Thurs.)

The lake is to the right in this picture, with the mountain behind us. The trail is well maintained as you can tell.

There is an amphitheater just past the campground. If you look close you can see I caught Misaki in mid jump, which is pretty amazing because she almost never does anything like this. I was just taking the picture and she's putting on a show.

As far as local wildlife goes, there were a ton of these brilliant, electric blue dragonflies. The usually didn't sit still for too long, but I caught this one.

I love this picture of the cloud on the south side of the mountain. This is just about looking straight towards Timberline, and the shadows of the clouds on the mountainside are very cool.

This is the opposite side of the lake from the dam. It's a marshy area, but there were still kayakers able to skim through it.

This is a panorama shot from the dam (the left side of the picture). Right after this we saw an eagle (we think it was an eagle) dive down into the water and grab a fish, then fly off - that was amazing. Earlier we also saw a bald eagle, but this was a different kind. It was much bigger than a hawk or a falcon, but again, not sure exactly what it was.

Here is Misaki and Wifey posing at a boat ramp. This is about mid-morning and you can see not all the low clouds had burned off


Here's a few pics taken from various points around the lake are Misaki level.

This first one is near the amphitheater, looking across the lake.

Here is Misaki at the boat ramp checking out the local color. She actually walked in to the freezing water to get closer to the duck, but after a few moments decided the female mallard wasn't worth it.

How's this for some perspective?!

Misaki wouldn't sit in one spot long enough for me to really focus a shot from her ears towards Mt. Hood, so this is the best I could do. Imagine you are on a boat.

Fun times - we'll definitely have to go back and do the full hike.


  1. I love the pictures. That's a really beautiful place and one of my favorites in Oregon. I don't think those are trilliums in your photo, though. I believe that trilliums have three leaves and three petals on the flowers.

  2. Thanks for the comment! Well, that's embarrassing if those aren't trilliums. Oops. Any idea what they are?

  3. My coworker,a biologist, said that they're cornus canadiensus, a ground cover form of dogwood. I can see the resemblance. No matter what they are, they are pretty. You usually see trilliums in bloom in May or early June depending on how cool the spring has been.

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  5. Thanks! We'll definitely have to go back next spring.