Panoramic views of Oregon’s tallest peak, snow-dusted forests, and very little overall elevation gain make the Trillium Lake Winter Loop a very popular trail during the colder months.
- Starting point: Trillium Lake Sno Park
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Distance: 4.7 miles
- Route type: Loop
- Elevation gain: ~430 ft
- Trail surface: Snow and ice
- Wheelchair accessible: No
- Open: Seasonally
- Dog friendly: Yes, on leash
This loop is the wintertime answer to the much shorter summer loop. The winter route follows closed roads that lead to Trillium Campground and a day use area. Used by hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers, the winter loop is wide and mostly flat — with the exception of a long hill at the start/end. You’ll pass a pioneer cemetery, see a lot of dogs, and be treated to two sweeping vistas of Mount Hood. It took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete.
Why you should try it
Trillium Lake Winter Loop is a gentle (though crowded) entry into off-season backcountry exploring and is great for beginner cross-country skiers and snowshoers. The route is easy to follow, even under fresh snow, since the roads cut wide paths through the forest.
There are no public restrooms at the trailhead, so you may want to make a quick pitstop at Government Camp Rest Area before traveling ~2 miles further to Trillium Lake Sno Park. Be sure to bring chains or have traction tires on your vehicle. A Sno-Park Permit is required to park from November through April. You can get away with just wearing sturdy hiking boots (with or without micro spikes) if there isn’t fresh powder on the trail. Try the loop counter-clockwise if starting later in the day for the best light.
Let us know
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