|The fam at the summit of Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain (yes really...)|
One good thing about Mirror Lake is easy access to the trailhead. The trailhead is literally right off Highway 26 before Mt. Hood Meadows. You turn a corner as you're climbing the mountain and BOOM. There's the trailhead parking. The fact that the trailhead parking is on the side of a highway is also kind of bad. It's pretty dangerous to get in and out of the parking area and it's usually very crowded. A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. Or you can drive down to the next pull-out on the highway, park for free, and walk back to the trailhead.
There is no drinking water at the trailhead or on the trail. Pack in your own water and/or bring a filter and filter it from the lake. The trailhead has two outhouses and my advice is to not go near them. They were almost overflowing and clearly hadn't been serviced in a long time. BRING YOUR OWN TOLIET PAPER and pee in the woods.
The hike to Mirror Lake is only 1.4 miles (2.8 round trip). It's a steady incline through thick and beautiful forest all the way to the lake. The grade of the incline isn't steep though. Our hiking book rated this portion of the hike as easy, but I'd say it falls more into the easy-to-moderate category.
|Sisters taking a break|
|Yep - she's cute!|
|Rock pile at one of the trail switchbacks|
|viewpoint about halfway to the summit.|
|Mt. Hood and Mirror Lake|
|Alli and the foothills around us|
|Mirror Lake - look closely. Can you see the hikers on the trail?|
|Bird's eye view of the lake|
|Grant throwing rocks|
|Family Resting Spot|
|Grant and Alli on a log they floated around the lake|
If you go, have your kids carry their own backpack stocked with water, a change of clothes and a towel, a whistle and garbage bag in case they get lost, and more snacks than you think they will need. They get thirsty and hungry in the woods. Watch your step on the trail. It's easy to trip over rocks and tree roots. Finally, there was a wasp nest just off the edge of the trail about 1/3 of mile into our hike.T he wasps were dive bombing and stinging hikers but we made it through unscathed. Thank you Jesus since Katie is allergic to bees.
|Another great adventure|