- Rating: Moderate
- Activity: Nordic & Snowshoe
- Distance: 3 miles round-trip to Mirror Lake, 6.4 miles to the top of Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain
- Time: 2-5 hours on snowshoes, depending on the distance
This summer fave attracts families because of its scenery, short distance and easy access, but come winter only snowshoers and hardy hikers make the journey, leaving them to enjoy near-silent slogs through picturesque glades. Stand on the snowy shores of glacial Mirror Lake in February, and Mount Hood appears as a perfect peak of white. Make the full hike to the top of Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain to catch views of Mounts Hood, St Helens, Adams, Jefferson and Rainier.
ROUTE: The trailhead crosses a short bridge before gently switchbacking upward through a subalpine forest. The 1.5 miles to the lake gains 700 feet at a steady but not steep climb. Once you reach Mirror Lake, the trail rings the water. You’ll find the spur leading upward at the lake’s southwest corner, where the path narrows and ascends more steeply to the peak. The trail is not marked for winter travel, but the Forest Service reports that it still hosts plenty of snowshoers.
Always note avalanche conditions by checking the updates at the Northwest Weather & Avalanche Center (www.nwac.us/forecasts.htm) before you go. For more information, contact the Mount Hood National Forest, Zigzag Ranger District (503-622-3191).
DIRECTIONS: From Portland, take U.S. 26 toward Government Camp. The trailhead is 1 mile west of the town at Milepost 51.7 (look out for the parking area just after a left-hand curve). No Sno-Park permit required.