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Days
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Motors Allowed?
No
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
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Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Timothy Lake is the largest body of water in the Mount Hood National Forest, and it offers spectacular views of the state's tallest mountain, so it's no wonder that it has become such a popular summer recreation area.  In combination, the campgrounds around Timothy Lake provide over 260 designated campsites, making it the third largest camping area in the state.  Only Fort Stevens and Nehalem Bay State Park provide accommodations for more visitors.

The lake is actually a reservoir created when Portland General Electric constructed a compacted-earth dam along the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in 1956 to regulate water flow to their other facilities downstream.*  Dams on the Clackamas have kept native fish from the reservoir, however, the fishing is good for stocked rainbow trout, brook trout and kokenee salmon.

Campgrounds along the reservoir's shore include Pine Point, Hoodview, Gone Creek and Oak Fork.  There are also the Cove, North Arm and Meditation Point campgrounds, which are rustic in nature or walk-in only.  You may also consider nearby Little Crater Lake, Clackamas Lake Campground or the Joe Graham Horse Camp if the Timothy Lake campgrounds are full.

*Timothy Lake regulates water flow to Lake Harriet 10 miles downstream.  Lake Harriet was created in the early 1920s as a diversion dam for the construction of the Oak Grove hydroelectric power plant roughly 8 miles downstream, or 6 miles via the diversion pipeline.  Interestingly, because of the steep elevation drop just before the power plant, Oak Grove is PGE's most efficient facility, producing electricity for approximately 22,000 homes.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

Large area. Inlets and coves to explore. Mount Hood views. Camping options.

Cons

Reservoir (not completely natural). Peak summer crowds.

Address

OR
United States

Features

Backcountry camping

Site characteristics: Water

Lake

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

09/18/2018
September 18th....The water was so warm,I took a swim after falling in!!!
08/27/2018
Great Late Summer Paddlin'. We love this Lake and always have a good time here. Great Hike as well...13 miles around the Lake!!!
05/27/2017
I remember going to Timothy Lake when I was little with my family and has now become our "go to lake" with my husband and kids. Lots of memories created here. Timothy is a BEAUTIFUL lake. The water is clean and crystal clear. The campgrounds usually get full quickly, but we prefer to load the boat and go across the lake, past Meditation Point, where not many are around. Warning: the animals come out at night ! There is a game trail that goes through most of the camp spots on the water. When you're just about to fall asleep in the complete darkness in the Mt Hood wilderness and hear something run past, or breathing up on the lake trail above, don't be alarmed.....it was just bigfoot...... or just a dear.
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