Hidden within the Mount Hood National Forest, Pristine Buck Lake sits at 4,080 feet elevation, 68 miles away from the Portland downtown. Whether you're seeking destination to spend with your friends or solitude in serene forest setting near the water, then Buck Lake is the place for you.
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 see level and climbs at a moderate grade to 4,080 feet. Among the reasons for the maintained seclusion, tranquility and pristine nature of this gem, is that it can be accessible by foot.
Buck Lake is fed from snowmelt and rain. Placid surface of the transparent to bottom 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 or using a swim mask.
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.
There are no toilet or garbage facilities on the site. Please leave the lake shores clean. Pack out all trash and properly dispose of waste.
Pristine Buck Lake | General Description
Open: May - October
Managed: US Forest Service
Location: Mt. Hood National Forest
Activities: Swimming, hiking, fishing
Accommodations: Camping is allowed
Distance from the parking: 0.4 miles
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Low to moderate
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.
Directions to Pristine Buck Lake
- Drive on Highway 26 East 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.
Some visitors reported that Google doesn't navigate correctly to the Buck Lake Trailhead. So, use provided above directions.
GPS (lake): N 45°6.659' W 121°52.344' | 45.11098, -121.8724