Hike 12
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Lost Lake Butte Hike
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Map of the Lost Lake Butte Hike

Length: 4.8 miles RT
Elevation Change: 1068' gain
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:    Moderate
Permit: NW Forest Pass Not Required


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

Lost Lake Butte is a must climb if you are camping at the beautiful Lost Lake. This is a private enterprise and it does cost to enter the grounds. However, if you only want to climb Lost Lake Butte, you can park just outside the facility and begin on the Trailhead for Trail #655. This trail begins just outside the fee area where Forest Road 13 junctions with the access road to the Lost Lake Resort area.

As you begin the hike from outside the park area, you will immediately walk through a recently logged area and then cross a road used in that logging process. But after you cross that road, you will enter and remain in a dense lovely forest.

It is only a short half mile walk to the junction of the trail that leads from Lost Lake to the butte, and at that point bear left, or uphill, and begin climbing Lost Lake Butte in earnest.

The trail remains almost entirely in dense forest, so there are no real view opportunities until you reach the northern ridgeline of the mountain. Even then, the views are not spectacular until you actually reach the summit. Depending on the time of year you climb this mountain, your views of the surrounding landscape will vary considerably.

I always try to arrive at a viewpoint at a time of day when the position of the sun is best for great photographs. However, on this particular hike, I reached the summit way too early, and the sun left Mt. Hood in deep shadows and I did not get very good pictures. But good pictures and wonderful scenes are available from this mountain, and it is so worth the modest effort to enjoy them.

Concrete steps to the old fire lookout that
was built on top of Lost Lake Butte
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

These directions take you from Hood River, Oregon. Whatever direction from which you arrive at Hood River, follow the sign of old US Hwy 30 into town. From the west turn right on 13th Street and follow it up the hill until it merges with 12th. If you are approaching from the east, on US 30, turn left on 9th and follow it up the hill until it merges with 12th. Either way, follow 12th south out of town on what is called Tucker Road or Hwy 281. About 6 miles out of town you will cross the Hood River. Immediately after the bridge, bear right and pass Tucker Park. In about another six miles you need to bear to the right again following signs to Lost Lake. This community is referred to as Dee. As soon as you cross the railroad tracks, bear left and follow the signs to Lost Lake. This paved road becomes Forest Road 18, and you need to follow it about another 8.5 miles. Then bear right on Forest Road 13 for another 4.5 miles.

Just before you get to the Lost Lake recreation area, and before you pass through the toll gate, at the place where Forest Rd 13 bears to the right and heads west, you will see a small sign on a tree next to the road that says, "Skyline Trail." Park here, or near hear. Be sure to not block any roadways.

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