Buck Lake

• Buck Lake is a pristine lake hidden deep in the Mt Hood National Forest
• Accessible by a 0.4-mile hike with 800 feet of elevation gain

Buck Lake Trail

Buck Lake

Buck Lake

Buck Lake

Hidden deep within the Mount Hood National Forest, the scenic Buck Lake sits at 4,080 feet elevation, 68 miles away from the Portland downtown. Whether you're seeking a destination to spend time with your friends or in solitude at a serene forest setting near the water, then Buck Lake is the place for you.

The lake is accessed by foot only making this destination secluded, tranquil and pristine. The trail to the lake starts from a pullout at a single lane of Forest Road 210. Easy for most people, a half-mile hike will take you through beautiful stands of old and young fir trees to the eastern shore of the aquamarine-colored lake. The trail starts at 3,280 feet above sea level and climbs at a moderate grade to 4,080 feet.

Buck Lake is fed from snowmelt and rain. The placid surface of the transparent water allows to appreciate the sight of the rocks and logs on the lake bottom. You may even be able to catch a glimpse of fish in the water. Also, the lake is home to large salamander populations. This is a good idea to explore the lake on your personal floating device using a swim mask.

There are also primitive 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.

There are no toilet or garbage facilities on the site. Please leave the lake shores clean. Pack and carry out all trash and dispose of waste properly.


Buck Lake | General Description

Open: May - October
Managed by: US Forest Service
Location: Mt. Hood National Forest

Services: None
Activities: Swimming, hiking, fishing

Distance from the parking: 0.4 miles
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Dogs: Allowed
Popularity: Low to moderate

Accommodations: Camping is allowed

Elevation: 4,080 ft (1,244 m)

Pristine Buck Lake is located:

  • 40 miles southeast of Estacada
  • 68 miles southeast of Portland
  • 90 miles northeast of Salem.

Swimming hole rating: 4 out of 5
Body of Water: Natural lake
Water quality: Clear & transparent
Current: None
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: Sand and boulders
Water T° (summer): Cool to warm

Adventures Nearby


From Portland,

  • Drive east on Highway 26 to Sandy
  • Turn right onto 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.

It was reported that Google doesn't provide the correct navigation to the Buck Lake Trailhead.


GPS (Lake): N 45°6.659' W 121°52.344' | 45.11098, -121.8724

GPS (Trailhead): N 45°6.807' W 121°51.803' | 45.113444, -121.863389

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