- Date: June 4, 2016
- Location: Mount Hood
- Start: Mirror Lake Trailhead
- Distance: 6.4 miles
- Duration: 2 hours 36 minutes (breaks not included)
- Elevation gain: 1710 feet
- Type: Out-and-back
- Map: Adventure Maps: Mount Hood Area
- References: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland by Paul Gerald; Oregon Hikers
Since Munra Point, Mack and I hadn’t been able to make time to get outside together. We’d managed a climbing class with Timberline Mountain Guides, as well as the Trail Factor Half Marathon (and the preceding training runs), but we were definitely missing a good old fashioned hike. Cassie and I were able to do a few hikes by ourselves, but Mack was unable to join. Last Saturday, we finally managed to squeeze one into our hectic schedule.
This hike is one that I did solo last November when Mirror Lake was completely frozen (I was able to walk on it!) and the trail up to Tom Dick and Harry was covered in snow. By contrast, this past Saturday the temps were in the 80’s/low-90’s, Mount Hood’s snowy reflection glistened in the lake, and rhododendrons lined the trail up to Tom Dick and Harry.
Of the numerous hikes around Mount Hood, Mirror Lake is probably one of the most popular. The trailhead is right off the highway (no bumpy forest roads to drive up) and the trek to Mirror Lake is less than 2 miles in with moderate elevation gain. We were lucky to even find a parking spot. In addition, there are several campsites around the lake, making it the perfect spot for first time backpackers. Fortunately, the crowds tend to dwindle after you make it past the lake and continue up to the Tom Dick and Harry summit. Aside from two or three other hikers, Mack, Cassie, and I enjoyed a peaceful, solitary hike up to the summit, where we were graced with views of Mirror Lake, Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Jefferson! An incredible reward for a relatively short, uphill jaunt. We’ve completed numerous hikes that offer breathtaking views of the Cascade volcanoes. The Tom Dick and Harry summit easily has one of the best.
After soaking in the views (and the hot sun), we made our way back down, grateful to be back in the shade where it was a little cooler. We spent a few extra minutes exploring Mirror Lake before completing the final stretch back to the car. All in all, another wonderful experience shared with my lovely little family.