When deciding on what kind of hike to do, a lake with a trail around it is one of my favorite to find. Get a cool breeze and beautiful views of the lake, or surrounding area while meandering through the forest. Usually easy to moderate hikes these are great for everyone. If it is a hot day take a dip and relax, so make sure to bring a chair. One of these lakes even has a hot springs!
Here are our favorite Lake Loop Hikes in Oregon!
One of the few hikes in the Upper Cascades that you do not need any sort of permit to hike around is Todd Lake. There is limited parking for this lake but if you get a spot, make sure to enjoy the 2 mile loop trail. With views of Bachelor, meadow and the beautiful blue lake, it is also worth stopping to relax for the afternoon or picnic lunch. Please DO NOT play music while you are hanging out on the shoreline or if you are floating the water.
Timothy Lake is close to Mt. Hood. While this lake can feel busy because of the multiple day use parking and campgrounds surrounding it, the 11 mile loop around the lake was actually quite enjoyable. There is very little elevation gain to the hike. You may get a glimpse of Mt. Hood, but the best part is you are right along the water for most of the hike and if not, then going through lush forest.
Paulina is south of Bend, Oregon, just below Paulina Peak. There is a lot to do in this area besides this hike, but it is well worth your time if you are looking for a leisurely 7 mile hike that has an area with a few hot spring pools! You may have to build up one after the long winters and the water can range from cool to warm to hot depending on the day. There is nothing else like this in Oregon!
Suttle Lake is past Sisters, OR along Highway 20. This lake is home to Suttle Lake Lodge and a few day use areas, so on a hot day in the summer it is very busy. If you can make it during a non peak time or shoulder season you could have this trail to yourself. The calm waters provide a lot of locations for mediation or relaxing spot to rest. 3.5 miles makes it family friendly and a fun trail run.
I hope you enjoy one of these amazing lakes in Oregon. As always, please remember to practice Leave No Trace.