Shellrock Lake & Secret Waterfall!
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
A reflective lake located in Roaring River Wilderness in Mount Hood National Forest.
Lake Name: Shellrock Lake Lake Coordinates: 45.1357, -121.9713 Lake Elevation: 4200′ Access: Trail & bushwhack Distance: 2.35 miles (round trip)
Elevation Range: 4077' to 4326'
Ascent/Descent: +380 ft / -183 ft Trail Type: Lollipop
Trails: Shellrock Lake Trail #700 & off trail section to create loop Note: There is a stream crossing and part of the loop around the lake (north & west sides) we had to bushwhack - BW2. Date hike was done: 11-16-19
Beforehand I couldn’t find much information on this trail so I had no idea how long it was going to be or what it was going to look like. All I knew was it should be less than 3 miles to get there one way from what I could make out on the map I had.
My Dad and I started out midday from the Shellrock Lake Trailhead. The first part of the trail was all uphill then right before we got to the lake it dropped down and flattened out. It was somewhere between 0.4 – 0.6 miles to the lake from the trailhead.
Once we reached the lake there was a wide creek crossing. The water level was low and there were logs across it to walk on. We walked around the lake in a counter clockwise direction. There were some cool primitive campsites along certain parts of the lake. As we reached the opposite side of the lake from the stream crossing, the trail around the lake disappeared into a marshy dense tree/brush covered area.
We bushwhacked our way through and ended up having to head away from the lake to the less dense forest to make our way to the rock slide area. We came back down to the lake as we crossed the rock slide. Once we made our way across we found the trail again and followed it back to where it met at the stream crossing.
The lake was really pretty. It was very still and clear so you could see the hills beautiful reflection in it. We even saw a fish in the water, it was so clear! The greenery around the lake was incredible! There was a lot of bright green moss and underbrush on the ground. It looked unreal.
How to get there (from Estacada, OR)
Take Clackamas Hwy 224 from Estacada for 25.5 miles past Ripplebrook and turn left on to NF-57. Continue down NF-57 for 6.8 miles (Timothy Lake Rd) and take a slight left on to NF-58.Continue on NF-58 for 3 miles. Then take a left on to NF-5830 and drive for 5.6 miles down the road past the Hideaway Lake Campground. The parking area for Shellrock Lake Trailhead is just a little further on the right side of the road.
Lake Coordinates: 45.1357, -121.9713
Clackamas River Ranger District map location: T5S R7E S17
A Secret Waterfall
At the Shellrock Trailhead parking lot, if you’re listening, you can hear the roar of the waterfall in the distance. I heard it and decided to try and find it. There is a little trail that goes off on the right by the entrance (to the parking lot) next to the road. The trail quickly gets very steep. We went a little ways then went off the “trail” to the right. We climbed across a bit of the steep hillside and got such a cool view of an unmarked waterfall! It cascaded down quite a ways. I couldn’t fit the whole thing in my camera frame (even with my GoPro.) It was so cool!
It’s only a couple hundred feet away from the parking area so if you aren’t scared of heights and have good balance you should definitely check it out!
This youtube video was the only thing I could find online mentioning the waterfall.
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