Lost Lake is a picturesque natural lake sitting at the foot of Mount Hood, 25 miles southwest of Hood River. A popular summer destination offers the perfect escape from everyday life providing opportunities to enjoy a breathtaking view of Oregon’s tallest volcano.
As early as the 1900s the Mount Hood’s view from the north lakeshore was used in postcards, calendars, and other souvenirs. Deep blue water reflects a mirror image of the white mountain peak rising above rolling foothills and lush forests.
Lost Lake has been popular among tourists and visitors for well over a century. This natural wonder offers a truly tremendous selection of outdoor activities including, but not limited to swimming, water sports, fishing, camping, hiking, and huckleberry picking.
The lake’s surface area is 240 acres and the depth goes up to 175 feet. This is the second deepest lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest after Wahtum Lake. Because the lake sits at an elevation of 3,000 above sea level and is fed by glacier creeks, the water is cold even at the peak of summer heat.
Though the lake water is very cold, swimming is still a favorite pastime for visitors. Overall, the water along the banks is more shallow and warmer. The area at Lost Lake Day-Use Area and the Northern Viewpoint are good spots for swimming. Be aware shorelines can drop off quickly to over 25 feet.
Besides swimming, various kinds of water activities are available including canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and tubing. The resort store located nearby offers rentals of kayaks, canoes, wooden boats, paddleboards, and even metal fishing boats. Motorboatsg are not allowed.
There are numerous options when it comes to fishing at the lake - flies, bait, lures, and trolling, as well as shore, boat, or float tube fishing. Boat launch, fishing pier, and fish cleaning station on site allow greater convenience and flexibility for outdoorsmen.
Twice a year, in the late spring and early summer, ODFW stocks rainbow trout ranging in size from legal to trophy. Also, the lake supports other varieties of trout including kokanee, wild brown and brook trout.
There are a lot of trails for biking and hiking which start around a campground and range from 0.25 miles to over 100 miles in length.
Starting from the lake, the most popular trails vary in difficulty levels.
This is an easy 3.1 miles loop around the perimeter of the lake with a starting point at a day-use parking lot. If you heading south, the first 1.3 miles are barrier-free and accessible. Much of the path features raised boardwalk. The northern 0.3-mile part of the trail is a self-guided nature walk.
Old Growth Trail
A barrier-free, easy, and accessible 1-mile trail runs north-south between A Loop and Organization Campgrounds. There are interpretive signs along the trail explaining the ecology of this area.
Huckleberry Mountain Trail
A steep 2.5-mile trail starts from the Lakeshore Trail and runs through areas broadly covered by huckleberry bushes. The trail connects to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Typically, huckleberry season runs from mid-August to September.
The full-service resort offers lodge rooms, cabins, yurts, and day-use. The resort has a general store where you can purchase firewood and other necessities.
A campground sits right next to the resort and has several types of campsites depending on the visitor's needs. These include single, group, and family campsites. Each campsite has a private picnic table and a fire ring.
Restrooms, picnic tables, and drinking water are available.
Be aware, when the resort hits full capacity, new day-use visitors will not be allowed to stay. The best option to visit this area would either be to get an overnight reservation at the resort or to show up mid-week for a day-use area.
Lost Lake | General Description
Managed: Lost Lake Resort, US Forest Service
Location: Mount Hood National Forest
Services: Restrooms, drinking water, boat ramps, fishing dock, handicap accessible picnic sites,
Activities: Swimming, watersports, hiking, biking, fishing, scenic viewpoints
Accommodations: Lost Lake Resort and 148-site campground
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Popularity: Moderate to high
Elevation: 3,200 ft (975 m)
Lost Lake is located:
- 25 miles southwest of Hood River
- 90 miles east of Portland.
Directions to Lost Lake
- Take Highway 84 and head east for about 59 miles to exit 62
- Take exit 62 for US-30 and follow Country Club Road for 2.8 miles to Barrett Drive
- Turn left onto Barrett Drive and continue 1.2 miles to Tucker Road (Highway 281)
- Turn right onto Tucker Road (Highway 281) and go 2 miles to Dee Highway
- Bear right to Dee Highway (still Highway 281), go 6.3 miles then slight right and finally turn left onto Lost Lake Road
- Continue 13.8 miles on Lost Lake Road to the resort and campground.