Updated: Nov 10, 2022
A still, quiet lake tucked between foothills in Mount Hood National Forest.
Lake Name: Pyramid Lake Lake Coordinates: 45.1468, -121.9264 Lake Elevation: 4000′ Access: Trail Distance: 0.15 miles one way to lake edge (0.30 miles round trip); 0.96 miles to do loop around lake as well as in and out.
Elevation Range: 3842' to 4035'
Ascent/Descent: +240 ft / -246 ft Trail Type: In and out or lollipop
Trails: Pyramid Lake Trail #727 Note: There is a well worn trail to the lake, but the trail that goes around the lake isn’t easily discernible (I’d classify it as a BW 1) Date hike was done: 6-4-20
Pyramid Lake had me pretty intrigued. I was curious to see what the lake looked like and how it differed from some of the other lakes in the area.
I started my hike around mid-day. There was one large snow patch next to where I parked at the trailhead. It was the only trace of snow I saw. The air had a little chill in it since I was just below 4000′.
The first part of the trail went straight up hill, no switchbacks, just straight up. The first part looked like a dead, creepy forest. Sometimes I hate how big my imagination can get, this was one of those times. It was steep for the first 0.06 miles of the trail and climbed 200 ft in that short distance. Then the trail leveled out the rest of the way to the lake.
Once the trail leveled out, the forest seemed to come to life again. There were green plants and bushes covering the forest floor and I could head birds chirping in the distance. It was 0.15 miles to the lake. Most of the lake shore was very brushy and I couldn’t find a good place to take a picture, so I decided I’d go around the lake and see if I could find a more open spot.
To be fully transparent I was very jumpy and on edge the whole time I was out the day I hiked this lake. A few days prior I had taken a new supplement that had made the anxiety skyrocket, and that high level of anxiety hadn’t yet reduced. So I was already freaked out about going out, especially by myself.
So even though the lake was beautiful and the trail exciting, I was really trying not to panic and break down crying. I didn’t run into anyone else out there and didn’t see any animals. But I’d stop every so often and just listen to the forest and look around me to make sure there wasn’t anything following me.
I’m sharing this because it’s perfectly okay to be scared, to have freaked yourself out. Sometimes it feels scary being out in the middle of nowhere with my mind running wild. I’m always overly prepared and have to reign in my mind which is constantly thinking of all the bad things that could happen.
The only place around the lake that had a somewhat clear view of the lake was in the area below the rock slide area. There were 2 places that weren’t crowded with brush and I was able to take decent pictures. There was one lone duck that was just chilling in the lake. The mosquitoes weren’t too bad so long as I was moving. But they got sort of annoying whenever I paused to take pictures, so I decided to go back to my car and eat there instead of by the lake.
This was one of the more easy lakes to make a loop around. Occasionally it looks like there might sort of be a trail in sections, but in other parts it’s just taking the path of least resistance. The foliage wasn’t too dense so it wasn’t too difficult to make my way around the lake.
The loop around the lake section of “trail” was 0.66 miles. Making the in and out, as well as the loop around the lake it was a total of 0.96 miles. It’s a pretty short hike. After looping back around to the where I had started my loop around the lake I headed back down the trail to my car.
Note: OregonHikers start the trail from the start of the road turn off, not the trailhead. I was able to drive up to the trailhead, but that depends on your comfort level. Also it mentions there being an outhouse. I didn’t see an outhouse when I went.
How to get there (from Estacada, OR)
Take Hwy 224 out of Estacada for 24 miles. Turn left on to FS 57 and continue for 7.4 miles until the road Y’s. Stay to the left (road turns into FS 58.) Continue for 5 miles. Turn left on to FS 140 and proceed for 2 miles to the end of the road. Trailhead is on the left at the dead end.
Lake Coordinates: 45.1468, -121.9264
Clackamas River Ranger District map location: T5S R7E S11
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