Chasing the first snow at Mirror Lake
I can’t still believe it when I think about it, but my first time hiking to Mirror Lake was this last January, a mere 10 months ago. It took me 2 years after moving to Portland to visit this place, but it’s become one of my favorite hikes around here since then.
It’s true, there are hikes closer to the city. And there are prettier lakes. And prettier trails. And it’s not the best view of Mt Hood (not even if you go all the way to the top of Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain). It’s not the best at anything, but very few hikes have it all like this one.
It takes just one hour to get to the trailhead from Portland (it might sound bad, but just leaving the city might take you half an hour). Once you are there, the 1.5 miles can be done pretty quick: just under half an hour. All this makes this the perfect hike to do on a week day just before or after work, or on a weekend if it got too late to go anywhere further away or try longer hikes.
The latter was the case here. I just wanted to get out, take some photos, stretch my legs and hopefully get to see and touch the first snow of the season, so this was the first hike I thought of. I left the house around 1:45pm, got to the trailhead just before 3pm, and I was back at the car at 5pm. I did try to hike all the way up but it was late and pretty icy already — I think this is going to be a snowshoe hike pretty soon.
Pretty much 95% of the hike is through the forest. Good news: if it’s raining, you won’t get too wet. Bad news: if you hike at the time I did, then the way back to the car is in complete darkness.
And now, more photos!