The postcard photo of Mount Hood from Lost Lake, with the white mountain peak rising above a deep-blue reflecting pool amid a thick green forest, is probably the most famous image of Oregon’s most famous volcano. The lake, about 25 miles southwest of Hood River, is a popular getaway when Hood River temperatures spike.
The 25-mile drive to Lost Lake from Hood River begins on 13th Street, which changes names (Hwy. 281, Tucker Rd., and Dee Hwy.) on its way up the flanks of Mount Hood. About 12 miles from downtown, take a right at the Dee Lumber Mill, where a green Lost Lake sign points the way. From here, bear left and follow the signs.
Lost Lake Resort (541/386-6366, http://lostlakeresort.org, rooms and cabins $60–120, reservations accepted; campsites $30, no reservations) offers rowboat rentals and a small store along with campsites and cabins. In addition, there are standard guest rooms in the second story of the lodge (bring your own linens). Come prepared; the closest gas station is in Parkdale.
Late August huckleberry season is a highlight at Lost Lake, but the weather and diminished crowds in September make it a preferable time to visit. The rangers have campfire programs on Saturday nights July–August. The Lakeshore Trail features a 0.5-mile boardwalk through an old-growth cedar grove; the boardwalk is 2 miles into the trail, where you pass eight-foot-thick cedars. Pick up a map with natural history captions that correspond to numbered posts along the route.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel