Updated: Nov 11, 2022
A lake on the Fret Creek Trail #456 A in Badger Creek Wilderness in Mount Hood National Forest.
Lake Name: Oval Lake Lake Coordinates: 45.3328, -121.4977 Lake Elevation: 5540′ Access: Trail Distance: 4.36 miles (round trip) Elevation Range: 4610′ to 5538′ Ascent/Descent: +984 ft / -981 ft Trail Type: In and out Trails: Fret Creek Trail #456 A Note: There are some steep uphill sections. I did this as a backpacking trip along with going to two viewpoints. I didn’t camp at the lake, but there were other people camping there.
Other Posts: Badger Creek Wilderness Backpacking Trip - 2020 Date hike was done: 6-26-20
The first 0.2 miles of the trail was all uphill. Most of the trail followed along side Fret Creek. After the uphill, the trail came to a bridge crossing the creek. The trail leveled out after that for a while. There were a lot of huckleberry bushes along the trail and beautiful wildflowers scattered along as well. There were 3 bridge crossings and 2 creek crossings with no bridge. The forest was pretty and open.
As we neared the lake the trail went uphill for 0.25 miles. It was rather steep and there were no switchbacks so it was just straight uphill. There were mosquitoes and gnats along the trail. Right as we got to the lake the trail leveled out. The lake was easily seen from the left side of the trail. There was a split off the main trail that led down to the lake. There was even a little sign on a tree that said Oval Lake.
The lake was a decent size and there were some primitive campsites along the lake’s edge. The water was a greenish hue. I walked out on a dead log to take photos and filter some water. The water was clear and crisp.
On the opposite side of the lake from the trail there was a large rock outcropping. It looked pretty cool. We only went to the lake’s edge. We didn’t try and circle the whole lake.
The hike back was all downhill and flat. I’d definitely recommend mosquito repellent.
The trailhead is on the right side of the road and the parking is along the left shoulder of the road.
How to get there (from Sandy, OR)
Take Hwy 26 out of Sandy for 31 miles. Take the exit for Hwy 35 N. Continue on Hwy 35 for 12.5 miles. Turn right onto NF-44 and proceed for 8.6 miles. Turn right onto NF 4420 (turns into 2730) continue for 4.3 miles. The trailhead and parking is right past Fifteenmile Campground.
Lake Coordinates: 45.3328, -121.4977
Barlow Ranger District map location: T2S R10E S01
The route above isn't from tracking that's why the mileage is different from what I noted at the start of the post.
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