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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Shellrock Lake & Secret Waterfall!

Updated: Apr 19

A reflective lake located in Roaring River Wilderness in Mount Hood National Forest.

Shellrock Lake

Lake Name: Shellrock Lake Lake Coordinates: 45.1357, -121.9713 Lake Elevation: 4200′ Access: Trail & bushwhack

Route: The bushwhack section we did was on the north and west side of the lake to create a loop.

Bushwhack Rating: BW2 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.

Location: In the Roaring River Wilderness in Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon, U.S.A.

Administration: Mount Hood National Forest

Ranger District: Clackamas River Ranger District Date accessed: 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 on the east side. 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 along the west side of the lake. We came back down to the edge of the lake as we crossed the rock slide area. Once we made our way across we found the trail again and followed it back to where it met at the stream crossing on the south side of the lake.

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.


Trail Resources

How to get there (from Estacada, OR)


Trail Map

A Secret Waterfall

Secret Waterfall
45.12746, -121.97014

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 to the northeast 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 southeast. 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.

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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