“Hidden Lake Trail leads to a small, scenic pond in the Mt. Hood Wilderness and continues to the PCT.
— Kathleen Walker
Lake · Wildflowers
This trail is usually closed by snow from about mid-November to late May or early June. A Northwest Forest Pass or other valid pass is required to park at the trailhead.
The Hidden Lake Trail is a relatively steep hike leading into the south side of the Mt. Hood Wilderness that connects to the Pacific Crest Trail. Hikers may travel the two miles to Hidden Lake, although it is more of a pond size. Those wanting to continue to the PCT, will climb another 2,000 feet in the next 2.3 miles which will get your heart rate up. The Hidden Lake Trail has limited views until it gets near the Pacific Crest Trail at is terminus.
You can come back the same way for an 8.6-mile round trip, or some folks make a longer loop going up Hidden Lake, northwest on the PCT, and returning on the Paradise Park Trail. Both Hidden Lake and Paradise Park trailheads are along the Kiwanis Camp Road (aka Forest Road 39) about 3/4 mile apart.
Mosquitoes around the shallow lake can be thick in spring and early summer.
Flora & Fauna
Second growth Douglas fir and western hemlock make for a shady forested hike most of the way on this trail. Bear grass and rhododendron bloom in June in the openings and all around the lake, making it a scenic early summer hike. We saw bats and dragonflys around the lake. Near the top of the Hidden Lake Trail, you get into mountain hemlock, noble and silver fir, and some western white pine as well as more wildflowers including paintbrush and penstemon.