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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Frying Pan Lake

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

A hidden, quiet lake with a glimpse of Mt Hood in Mount Hood National Forest.


Frying Pan Lake

Lake Name: Frying Pan Lake Lake Coordinates: 45.1889, -121.7930 Lake Elevation: 3989′ Access: Drive up (to access the lakes edge requires a very short bushwhack of sorts, definitely a BW 1 not hard at all) Note: There is no visible point of access or well worn trail to the lake. Date: 5-29-20


Frying Pan Lake is one of those lakes I saw on a map and decided I’d try going to it. I had no idea if I’d be able to, or what the roads were like. Last summer (end of July) was the first time I drove by. I didn’t actually go to the lake, but I did drive down the road near it. It was covered in small frogs. I couldn’t get out and walk without stepping on them. It was so cool.


I decided I was going to stop by and actually take a picture of the lake this time round. I thought it was just a small lake from what I’d glimpsed through the trees before and man, was I wrong.


There seems to be a permanently muddy section of road. Right before there are two places on either side of the road that a car could back into. I parked in one of them. I walked up the road a little ways and found a “no vehicles” sign on some trees on the left side of the road. I saw part of the lake in the distance through the forest.


I walked through the forest for about 100 feet and came out in a large, soft ground area, like sort of muddy, but not. I didn’t sink, but it was sort of spongy. I saw the lake and walked towards and parallel to it. Turns out it was a lot bigger than I thought it was. It is actually a very good sized lake.


I was shocked to see the top of Mt. Hood in the distance on the opposite side of the lake. I was the only person there (my favorite thing). I, of course, had to take pictures. The shape of the lake was very unique. I didn’t try to walk all the way around it. My feet were hurting from hiking the Timothy Lake loop earlier in the day so I was just in sandals. I was very easily able to find my way back to the road and to my car.


There were 2 small patches of snow I saw on the side of the road near the lake, but the road and lake area was snow free.


Resources

I couldn’t find anything online about this lake once I looked it up afterwards. It’s on the Zigzag Ranger District map and that’s really the only resource I know of.

How to get there (from Estacada, OR)

Location



Map
Frying Pan Lake Map
Curtesy of © CalTopo


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