Lost Lake and Lost Lake Butte

3.4 mi. w/100' or 7.2 mi. w/1300' elevation change.

We'll do the 3.4 mi. trail around 3200' Lost Lake. For those wanting more of a workout, we'll add another 3.8 mi. w/ 1300' elevation change up Lost Lake Butte--7.2 miles total round trip. Children, accompanied by an adult, are especially welcome on the first part of this trip.

Photographers praise Lost Lake's unrivaled vistas, birdwatchers flock to see riparian and high elevation birds, and natural history-lovers bask in old-growth forests and abundant wildflowers. The Lost Lake area is home to critters that depend on old-growth forests, like cavity-nesting birds and mammals like pine martens and native bats. High elevation and diverse habitats provide both excellent wildlife habitat and wildlife viewing opportunities. Hope to see something special, but count on seeing Townsend's chipmunks, Douglas squirrels, gray jays and Stellar's jays as these critters frequent the picnic area we pass through. We'll also see huge-leaved skunk cabbage--hopefully in bloom! Maybe we'll even see cut leaf bugbane leafing out--though we may have to return later in the summer for the flower of this rare endemic.

We'll start the hike from Campground Loop B so that those of us continuing to Lost Lake Butte will be at our trailhead as we end our first loop. While the easy group eats ice cream at the general store and/or watches wildlife at the lake, we'll climb through woods thick with rhododendrons and beargrass to a huge view of Mt. Hood to the south and Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier to the north with the Columbia River Plateau far to the east.

Distance to the trailhead is 73 or 83 miles one way, depending upon which way we choose to go. Parking will cost $7.00 per car. Bring Northwest Forest Pass, Senior Pass, Interagency Annual Pass, but expect to pay something as this area is privately managed.

As is common on my hikes, share your knowledge of local natural or cultural history--so do some homework--e.g., tell us about how Lost Lake got its name or efforts to put the area into wilderness. I'll share mine too, so this trip will go at a moderate pace with stops for interpretation and photos.

Dogs are not allowed--except for service dogs. PLEASE READ About Mary's Trips in this Meetup's Files under "More" BEFORE you sign up. Call Mary at[masked] (land line) with questions. Do NOT email if you have a burning question.

Dress in quick-drying layers--no jeans or other cotton. Bring lunch, water, rain gear,  and the

Updated Ten Essential "Systems"

  1. Navigation (map and compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter

for safe hiking. Consider bringing poles for Lost Butte and binoculars for bird-watching. Suggested $15 each for drivers, $2-3 voluntary donation for Sierra Club's Leader Training program and money for an optional stop on the way home.

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  • Mary V.

    The weather held for our climb of Lost Lake Butte and Mt. Hood loomed large when it peaked out of the clouds at the top. We felt no more than the slightest sprinkle all day. We had to wait til our drive home to see Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens. Although the trail was lined by huckleberry, rhododendron, beargrass and boxwood, none were out yet on the hill. We vowed to return in August for the abundant huckleberries that are in evidence now. Jody, Elizabeth, Jeff, so sorry you missed a great day.

    June 25, 2012

  • Mary V.

    The Lolo Pass route to Lost Lake was filled with wildflowers--lupine, goatsbeard, penstemon, paintbrush, yarrow, fireweed, rhododendrons, beargrass and perhaps a dozen others. It was also filled with shocking views of clearcuts and mile after mile of high voltage power lines! However,the clearcuts on the way back through Hood River were even worse--with fresh slash piles putting salt in our wounds. Although it was disappointing that 4 other people on the list did not show, that enabled the 5 of us who went to take one car and really bond on the way. We arrived to partly cloudy, partly sunny skies. We caught occasional glimpses of Mt Hood reflected in Lost Lake and saw some really impressive cedars, hemlocks and Doug firs--and enormous skunk cabbage. Anemones and Canada dogwood dotted the trail, with occasional accents of Solomon plume (large and starry), Hooker's fairy bells and avalanche lilies dotting the trail. We had sun and a picnic table for lunch.

    June 25, 2012

  • Andy G.

    Another Great Mary Hike!

    June 25, 2012

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Mary,
    I am sad to say that I can't make it tomorrow. I ran the twilight 5k in Tigard this evening and twisted my ankle! It's not too bad, but I think that I should take it easy for a couple of days. I'm looking forward to the next one though. Have a wonderful hike.

    June 23, 2012

  • Mary V.

    Daniel, as I said in "About Mary's Trips" which I ask everyone to read, don't make plans before 7 PM as we don't like to feel rushed. It takes a long time to get to and from Lost Lake--83 miles and 144 turns one way. Of course, we will carpool. There have always been enough cars but that is not something I assess ahead of time. I hope you can make it and you are lucky I saw your message. I ask people to CALL with questions.

    June 23, 2012

  • Mary V.

    I actually found a weather forecast specific to Lost Lake Oregon--and it's GREAT--hooray!
    Rest Of Tonight...Partly cloudy. Lows 35 to 40. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

    Sunday...Partly cloudy. Highs 61 to 70. South wind 10 to 15 mph shifting to the southwest in the afternoon. As on EVERY trip, bring rain gear anyhow!

    June 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Mary, I do not have a vehicle so if I wanted to come is there space to carpool? also what time would you estimate that Id be back in town by?

    June 23, 2012

  • Pattie

    OK I will keep an open mind and hope to be there tomorrow. Thanks

    June 23, 2012

  • Mary V.

    Don't be deterred by any forecast for showers. The old growth forest is actually more magical and mysterious when its wet. By the time we are ready to climb the Butte, the showers will be over and the Cascade peaks we will view from the top will have a fresh coat of snow on them.

    June 23, 2012

  • Mary V.

    This is mosquito season, so I suggest that you dress in protective layers--long pants and long sleeves.

    June 18, 2012

  • Mary V.

    Forecast for Dee, Oregon (the closest town) for June 24, 2012: "Occasional showers possible. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the upper 40s." So expect a great day as I have good weather karma--especially where old growth forests are concerned.

    June 18, 2012

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