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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Round Lake

Updated: Apr 28

A secluded lake with a beaver dam in Mount Hood National Forest.

Round Lake

Lake Name: Round Lake Lake Coordinates: 44.8755, -121.9702 Lake Elevation: 3600′ Access: Trail (part of it is overgrown) Distance: 1.15 miles (round trip) Elevation Range: 3537′ to 3654′ Ascent/Descent: +267 ft / -259 ft Trail Type: Lollipop Trails: Round Lake Trail #565 Note: Campsites are on the north side of the lake. The south side of the lake the trail is overgrown in parts and there is a beaver dam.

Location: Near Bull of the Woods Wilderness in Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon, U.S.A.

Administration: Mount Hood National Forest

Ranger District: Clackamas River Ranger District Date Accessed: 7-6-20

It takes a maze of backroads to get to the Round Lake trailhead. The roads were in a whole lot better condition than I anticipated, which was a pleasant surprise. The parking area for Round Lake was very evident. There was a a big sign that said Round Lake Campground. There was only one car there. I parked and geared up. I was ready to start my trek, but I had a hard time finding the trailhead. I sort of felt like an idiot because it was actually rather obvious. (Note: the trail is on the right hand side of the parking area, not the left by the big campground sign.)


Once I found the trail it went up a steep bank and then it weaved through the forest going gradually uphill. There were rhodies lining the trail. Some were in bloom. They were mostly light pink in color. The trail flattened and there was a V (split). I stayed to the left because it looked more worn than the trail to the right.

The trail took me to the lake. It was 0.22 miles to the lake edge from the trailhead. On the north side of the lake there was designated campsite areas with picnic tables. There was one guy fishing in the lake and that was the only person I saw there. I followed the loop that went around the lake. The north side is the most well maintained part of the trail. There are a few steep trails that split off from the main trail and go down to the lake’s edge.

Split in trail

On the east side of the lake there was a creek crossing. It was very easy with multiple places one could cross over. The last campsite area was on the east end of the lake. As the trail looped around to the south side there were some overgrown sections. The best view of the lake is on the south side, in my opinion. On the south east side there is a ledge that drops about 5 feet to the edge of the lake. I could see the entire lake from there. It was really pretty.

Creek crossing (on east end)

I continued hiking along the south side. The trail got more overgrown the farther west I went. I came across a beaver dam and creek which the trail crossed and continued on the other side. I didn’t want to walk over the dam and damage it or fall in. So I went down stream a bit and had a difficult time crossing. The creek wasn’t too bad and wasn’t too deep, but there were a lot of overgrown plants and some devils club I had to try and avoid. I also tried to avoid getting my feet wet, but couldn’t find a way to get across without getting wet and being touched by bushes. So I was like, the hell with it, and just walked through the water and gently climbed through the bushes to the other side. The water wasn’t very deep, it didn’t even come up to the middle of my calf.

Round Lake

The trail was pretty overgrown on and off until I came out at the split in the trail I’d come across earlier when I was headed to the lake. I made my way back to the trailhead and felt rather proud of myself.


  • Trailhead Parking: 44.87625, -121.97611

  • Start of trail: 44.87622, -121.97592

  • Split in trail: 44.87634, -121.97343

  • Small creek crossing: 44.87647, -121.96861

  • Good view of lake from ledge: 44.87510, -121.96888

  • Beaver dam: 44.87450, -121.97114


How to get there (from Estacada, OR)



The route above shows the hiking route I took. I went around the lake in a clockwise manner.

The route above shows the driving route from FS 46 to Round Lake.

My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your safety, any possible injury, or anything that happens if you choose to follow anything on this website. Maps are not intended to be used for navigational purposes, but to give an overview of the route taken. By going outdoors you are solely responsible to know your strengths and limitations, be aware of current conditions and proceed with the appropriate caution. My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your choices and the outcome. Reference my disclaimer for more information on being responsible outdoors.

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