Exploring Trillium Lake in the Fall & Winter

couple viewing trillium lake

Exploring Trillium Lake is amazing anytime of year. Summer activities end around September and then there are completely new options.

With summer winding down and fall on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start planning your next outdoor adventure. And if you’re looking for somewhere beautiful to enjoy the changing leaves, look no further than Trillium Lake! This mecca for outdoor enthusiasts offers stunning views of Mt. Hood and is teeming with vibrant foliage this time of year. Here’s everything you need to know about making the most of a trip to Trillium Lake in the fall.

Autumn is a beautiful time to explore Oregon. The leaves are changing color, the air is chilly but refreshing, and there’s a feeling of magic in the air. One of my favorite places to explore during this season is Trillium Lake. The views are stunning, and there’s always something new to see.

Exploring Trillium Lake in the Winter is also amazing. The famous Trillium Lake usually has easy access and popularity make this one spot where you’ll find scores, not just from skiers but also snowshoers or cross-country riders looking for some fresh tracks in between tree lines!

No matter what time of year you go, Trillium Lake is an excellent spot for a day trip from Portland. It’s one the many great things about living in this area and exploring its natural beauty.

Getting to Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake is located just off Highway 26, about an hour and a half from Portland. From the east side of town, take I-84 to Troutdale and then follow signs for Sandy/Mt. Hood. Once you reach Rhododendron, continue straight onto Highway 26 for about 28 miles until you reach the lake.

If you’re coming from the west side, take Highway 26 east from Sandy until you reach Trillium Lake. The journey takes about an hour and 45 minutes. Keep in mind that during peak leaf-peeping season, traffic can be heavy so plan accordingly!

The road to Trillium Lake is closed by mid-fall, but winter users can still enjoy all kinds of fun in the forest. It’s one Of Mt Hood National Forest’s most popular spots because it has an easy access and offers great views!

Things to Do at Trillium Lake

Go for a Hike

One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Trillium Lake is to hike around it. The 4-mile loop trail provides stunning views of Mount Hood, as well as opportunities to see wildlife like beavers, otters, and native fish. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for all skill levels, making it an enjoyable experience for everyone in your group. And, if you time your hike right, you might even catch a glimpse of the sunset reflecting off the lake’s surface—a truly magical sight!

Enjoy the Snow

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers can enjoy the snow-covered trails in the Trillium Sno Park.

What to Bring

No matter when you go, be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and traction devices for your boots. As the snow falls and temperatures drop, it’s important to be prepared for winter weather. Make sure you have proper gear like layers so that your body can adjust accordingly when going out in cold conditions with extra shoes or gloves on hand. And no matter what time of year it is, always remember to Leave No Trace and pack out whatever you bring in!

And of course make sure to bring your camera along because the views are truly breathtaking!

Permits Needed

You will need a State of Oregon Sno-Park permit to visit the area from November – April.

Trillium Lake is a stunning spot that’s well worth a visit any time of year. However, if you have the opportunity to go in the Fall or Winter, when the leaves are changing color and the air is crisp and cool, definitely take it.

Have Us Help You Plan Your Mount Hood Adventure

Exploring Trillium Lake is day 3 of our Winter on Mount Hood trip. When you hire the Land Wander team to plan your outdoor adventure, we handle all the reservations, permits, and planning for you. This allows you to enjoy the outdoors without the hassle!

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