Trillium Lake

Michael and I have been to Trillium Lake a zillion times but it’s always been in the winter time! It is a popular winter spot for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. It’s been a tradition for us to go snowshoeing there on New Year’s Day most years. It is super popular, so we always get up really early to get there and get a parking spot. It’s full if you aren’t there by 9am.

But…we’ve never been there in there summer! It’s always been somewhere I wanted to try camping in the summer. But just like winter, it’s very very popular to camp there in the summer so hard to get a spot.

On Saturday over Labor Day we decided to do a little day trip. We left foggy, overcast Portland, drove up in the clouds in Mount Hood and then all of a sudden we were in blue skies!

So in the winter time you park at the top parking lot, right off the highway, for Trillium Lake and then hike down. But obviously in the summer the main road is open. Weird! We’ve never actually seen it. LOL We drove down to the day use area, which was packed. There was a guy directing people where to park, so that was nice.

We started our hike. The place was a madhouse. I guess we should have expected it, but it was a little overwhelming how crowded it was and…like no one was wearing masks but us and a few other hikers. 🙁

The lakeside was PACKED. People swimming, boating, SUP-ing, kayaking, fishing, sunbathing.

The trail is very narrow, and a bit crowded, around the lake.

And you are also hiking through campgrounds? That was a bit weird. I mean, you aren’t hiking right through campgrounds but they are on either side of the trail. So that’s good to know for the future if we ever wanted to camp there (probably not, after seeing how crowded it was).

Some of the trail was on boardwalk. And there were parts of the boardwalk that were really broken. I felt like that scene in Romancing the Stone where Kathleen Turner is trying to cross that broken bridge? 😀

I didn’t get pictures of the really bad parts! There were parts you had to kind of jump over!

The views of the lake and Mount Hood were beautiful, of course.

It was a beautiful, warm day. I wanted to go swimming SO BADLY!!!! I really miss it. Of anything in pre-pandemic life, swimming is the one I miss the most. Seriously. I’ve never not been in the pool this long. 🙁

Anyways, Logan was ready to turn around so we headed back. We were going to have a picnic but the place was SO CROWDED so we decided to go somewhere else for our lunch. We ended up at Still Creek Campground up the road. It was much nicer!

It was a small, simple campground but it was shaded and quiet and not overcrowded. There were some picnic areas too so we just stopped and had our picnic lunch by the creek.

We were right by a trailhead for Barlow Pass, too. We had a nice picnic lunch. Logan had PBJ, grapes, crackers and Paw Patrol cookies. Michael and I split a Subway sandwich. Then we packed up and headed home. Luckily, Logan slept the entire drive home! (Which is good because the way up it was “are we there yet?” every five minutes.)

So the hike was a bit of a bummer. Very flat, very crowded, we barely did 2 miles total. But at least we got to see Trillium Lake in summer time, we got outside in a very beautiful area for the day, and had a picnic. That was all good! In the future, I know some of my favorites I’d rather do!

Not Quite Paradise

Saturday we tried to go to a hike on Mt. Hood, Enid Lake, but the directions we had weren’t great and we couldn’t find the trailhead. Instead we ended up doing Paradise Park and Little Zig Zag Falls. The Zig Zag Falls were really pretty and an easy walk from the parking lot. The whole “hike” was a little over half a mile round trip.


The mini falls were really pretty and if you got too close to them it was FREEZING! There was a little picnic area and that was about it. The trail ended. I posted a short video on Instagram of the falls.



We went back down the trail and then drove down the road a bit to a trail head for Paradise Park.


You walked through a primitive campground to get to the trailhead and then the trail went through old growth trees and the ground was covered in lush green moss.

The first part of the trail was pretty flat and you walked on soft ground, which was nice. We were the only people on the trail. Then it started going uphill and there were some switchbacks.



It was a lot steeper than we were expecting and our hearts were pounding. I talked to my chiropractor and he thought that my back injury was an accumulation of my back feeling tight, sitting in the car, and then doing a steep hike with an incline–where you are forced to lean forward as you climb. And that did me in.


Despite my back issues, the hike was okay. There wasn’t a stunning view, the climb up the side of the mountain kept you in the trees but you got glimpses of the area around you through the trees and you realized just how high up you were.

We stopped to rest and have lunch (I had a PB&J sandwich), gave Bella some water and continued up the trail a bit. Then I decided I’d had enough and we turned around. It was easier going back down but my back was still bothering me.

We did just under 4 miles and I burned 507 calories. Then my back went out. 🙁

You guys know the rest!

As of today I am feeling a LOT better! No back spasms since Sunday night. I went to the chiropractor Monday afternoon and got a massage yesterday. I’m back at work and glad I have a standing desk, I think that’s helping. So far so good!