A 70-mile drive from downtown Portland, Pristine Buck Lake sits at 4,080’, hidden perfectly between the stunning Mount Hood National Forest. If you are on the lookout for the perfect afternoon swim destination, then Buck Lake is the place for you!
Easily accessible from Portland, the lake’s parking area is along a single lane long winding Forest Road. From the parking area, the quiet alpine lake is a half mile long easy hike. Among the main reasons for the maintained seclusion, tranquility and pristine nature of this gem, is that it is only accessible by foot. The hike will take you through beautiful stands of old fir trees while you are serenaded by a chorus of willow flycatchers and croaking frogs.
The gorgeous stream-fed swimming hole, with its spectacular emerald waters, is a sight to behold. The placid surface of the pristine clear natural lake affords the waders with the opportunity to appreciate the sight of the rocks and logs forming the bedrock. If a luck sways in your direction, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of fish swimming towards the bottom of the lake.
Furthermore, there are also campsites available for those desiring an overnight stay. The best perch of the day is offered alongside the trail which takes off towards the rocky section to the left. If a walk alongside the trail is not your idea of fun, take a raft and head towards the middle of the lake to attain the absolute most beautifully stunning view of the entire lake. If your idea of an ideal destination involves plentiful scenic beauty, then Buck Lake at Mount Hood is the place to be!
Access allowed: May - October
Hiking distance: 0.4 miles
Location: Mt. Hood National Forest
GPS coordinates: 45.110978, -121.8724
Elevation: 4080 ft (1244 m)
Buck Lake is located:
- 40 miles southeast of Estacada
- 68 miles southeast of Portland
- 90 miles northeast of Salem
- 113 miles northwest of Bend
- 163 miles northeast of Eugene.
Body of water: Natural lake
Water quality: Clear & transparent
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: Boulders and sand
Water T° (summer): Cool to warm
No drinking water
No garbage service
Directions to Pristine Buck Lake
- Drive on Highway 26 East to Sandy
- Turn right on Highway 211 and follow for about 6 miles to Highway 224
- Turn left onto Highway 224 East (HWY 211S) and continue 30.6 miles to Forest Road 57 (Oak Grove Fork Road)
- Turn left onto Forest Road 57 and travel 7.4 miles to Forest Road 58 (Shell Rock Road)
- Drive 1 mile and then turn right onto Forest Road 5810
- Continue 4.9 miles to Forest Road 210
- Turn left onto Forest Road 210 (Buck Lake Road) and drive 0.5 miles to the trailhead on the left.