Tom Dick and Harry Mountain (via Mirror Lake)

Option 1

  • Level: Easy to Mirror Lake (Beginner Level: Challenging)
  • Length: 3.2 miles
  • Elevation: 700 ft. gain
  • Type: out and back

Option 2

  • Level: Moderate to summit viewpoint
  • Length: 6.4 miles
  • Elevation: 1,500 ft. gain
  • Type: out and back

Further Details

  • Open: mid-May to mid-November
  • Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h10m
  • Google map: “Mirror Lake Trailhead” (bring screenshot or hard copies of directions, you may lose reception.)
  • Features: backpacking, Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, three-sixty views, spring flowers, swimming

This trail is all instant gratification. Beautiful through and through. Tons of wildflowers, especially the rhododendrons, salmonberries, adorable pikas and chipmunks and VIEWS. The trek up to Mirror Lake is in a beautiful, shaded forest. The lake itself is famously picturesque, often reflecting the hulking Mt. Hood. The water is best for swimming in the later summer. There are six camping spots, if you wanna do a little hike-in camping or backpacking in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. If you’re like me, you’ll decide to continue on the rest of the way from the lake to Tom Dick and Harry Mountain as it’s about the same difficulty and distance as the first leg of the trek. So nice, do it twice? The reward at the summit is a three-sixty view and on a clear day, that means Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson and, of course, Mt. Hood, are all in view. It’s spectacular!

(Click for some writing inspired by this trail)

 

Do not continue past the first summit (on which I’ve decided is “Harry”) viewpoint even though you will likely see people doing it. The area is technically closed for habitat rehabilitation and that matters more than your wild spirit.

tomdickharrymthoodmirrorlake5
The three summits of Tom Dick and Harry
The only downside to this trail: it is one of the most popular trails in the area. Even midweek, you will likely have to park in the overflow. Lots of kids, lots of big groups. Lots of good-intentioned bad trail etiquette, but try to let it go and focus on your experience. Avoid weekends if you can.

From the trailhead:

Cross the bridge near the porta-potty into the forest. After about 0.4 mile, you’ll come to a rocky traverse and begin switchbacking up to the lake shore. Here, you can do the lake loop and continue back to your car for a 3.2 mile trek. If you are continuing on up to the summit, what I would do is skip the lake loop on the way up and do it on the return trip as a little prize for your hard work. I always just want to get to the top, but that’s me. After climbing 0.8 mile, you’ll come to a massive cairn and turn left for another 0.7 mile to the summit rockpile. Tramp around the summit for the best views and hopefully snag the sweet rock bench facing Mt. Hood for a great break. Look how tiny Mirror Lake is! Return as you came. Do the lake loop if you skipped it!

 

Beargrass is another of my summertime favorites.

A post shared by Jenny Bruso (@unlikelyhikers) (@jennybruso) on

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2 thoughts on “Tom Dick and Harry Mountain (via Mirror Lake)

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