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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Scout Lake

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

A snowy bushwhack to an iced over lake in Mount Hood National Forest.

Scout Lake

Lake Name: Scout Lake Lake Coordinates: 45.5698, -121.7951 Lake Elevation: 3993′ Access: Bushwhack Route: FS 660 and bushwhack through woods down to lake Bushwhack Rating: BW 1/2 Distance: 0.66 miles (round trip) Elevation Range: 3994′ to 4108′ Ascent/Descent: +94 ft / -100 ft Note: There was a potential trail, but I couldn’t follow it with all the snow. I just bushwhacked instead. Date hike was done: 11-10-20

I decided to try and make it to Scout Lake after having hiked to Wahtum Lake. Scout Lake is just down the road from Wahtum Lake. It was snow covered and the snow got deeper the farther up the road we went. There were some very large dips in the roads. We made it to where the road V’s near Scout Lake. We parked along the side of the road. The snow was too deep to drive any farther.

I planned on this being a bushwhack. We hiked down the road to the left since Scout Lake was off that direction downhill a ways. I was scouting the terrain and figuring out where I wanted to start. I had three concepts I’d charted on a map beforehand. We hiked 0.2 miles down the road, technically past the lake, to the last spot I wanted to check out to bushwhack from. It’s where the road curves.

The road actually got wider around the turn. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered what looked like a potential trail down to the lake from the road. I could see the iced over lake from there and decided to try following the trail.

We followed the trail, but quickly lost it since it was such a faint trail and the snow made it impossible to tell which way it went. We could see the lake, so we bushwhacked down to it. I ended up getting a pretty nasty bruise on the inside of my thigh from climbing over a downed tree.

There was very heavy, dense brush/trees at the south end of the lake so we bushwhacked to the west shore. It was lined by brush and trees, but the lake was visible through it. We found an opening in the brush along the lake’s edge where I could take some pictures. The lake was totally iced over and we could hardly see the trees on the other side of the lake.

Suddenly, it got obviously darker and the fog rolled in thickly across the lake and then it started snowing. It was so cool to see the precursor to the weather change. I really enjoy noticing the changes when I’m fully immersed outdoors and paying attention, looking and seeing what’s around me.

We bushwhacked through the forest back up to the road in the direction of the car. We tried to avoid the devils club and other thorny bushes, but I got poked frequently. We had to watch our footing because there was a spread out, trickling stream under the snow in certain areas. We climbed up the hillside and then pushed our way through the dense trees that lined the road. We walked back up the road to the car. The snow was falling fast and heavy.

I’d like to come back to this lake during the summer and see if the “trail” leads down to the lake.

Mileage (will vary due to bushwhack)

  • On road for 0.24 miles

  • Lake’s edge @ mile 0.38 (18 minutes)

  • Back to road (bushwhack) @ mile 0.55

  • Back to car @ mile 0.66 (42 minutes)



How to get there (from Dee, OR)



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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