When you search for photos of Mount Hood, many of them will turn out to be shots taken from Trillium Lake. These photos will all date to some time after 1960, however, as that was the year the reservoir we call Trillium Lake was created. Mud Creek (a tributary of the Salmon River) was dammed for recreational purposes in 1960 by the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife. As tranquil and natural as the many Mount Hood photos appear, nearly all of them are taken from the perspective provided by standing on the dam. The 1952 western 'Bend of the River', starring James Stewart, was filmed on location and shows the meadow and drainage in its original state.*
Because of the spectacular views of Mount Hood, Trillium Lake is easily one of the most popular summer recreation spots near the mountain. Bring your rod while you are out for a relaxing paddle on this 65-acre reservoir, as the water is stocked monthly with rainbow trout averaging 9-12 inches. There is a fishing platform if you prefer to fish from the bank. You can also follow the Trillium Lake Loop Trail as it casually meanders around the reservoir and cuts through the marshy meadow area to the north of the lake.
For those considering an overnight stay, note that the Trillium Lake Campground's 64 campsites are often full, so make reservations early. Alternately, consider Still Creek Campground and its additional 27 sites, located just 1.8 miles up the old Barlow Road.
* In fact, the series of lush meadows along Mud Creek, including the area that is now flooded (Trillium Lake), was originally called Summit Meadows. The historic Barlow Road was a diversion route from the Oregon Trail that actually cut through the marsh just north of Trillium Lake and Summit Meadows. There was an operating tollgate on the road from 1866 to 1870. Pioneers created a long stretch of logs placed side-by-side, known as a "corduroy" road, to make the passage through the deeply saturated marsh.