Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)
Trail type
7.30 mi (11.75 km)
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.

Beautiful Laurance Lake nestled in the Mount Hood National Forest is home to paddleboarders, campers and or course hikers. The Laurance Lake High Ridge Trail takes hikers roughly 1,000 feet above the lake through a narrow forested trail on the north side of Mount Hood.

Hikers set out from the Clear Branch Dam Trailhead—a no-fee pull-out. There is additional parking and a pit toilet at the Kinnikinnick (Laurance Lake) Campground, just a few minute walk down the road from the trailhead. Note there is a $5 vehicle fee. 

Hikers stroll across the dam with immediate views of Laurance Lake and Mount Hood's north aspect. Once across the north end of the dam, Laurance Lake High Loop Trail #632 narrowly ascends through forest. Fun fact: The trail isn't actually a loop, which was originally purposed by bikers to connect with Bear Creek Road and descend to Clear Branch Road. The idea never came to fruition under the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which protected additional land in the Mount Hood area.

The hike continues the ascent through gradual and narrow switchbacks and come to a scenic view of Mount Hood along the trail at the 1.5 mile marker. The trail is fairly sparse and uncovered but the fall season gives way to beautiful foliage that lines the winding trail. Folks will be engulfed by sitka alder, mountain hemlock, noble firs and a vast variety of trees and shrubbery throughout the hike. Continue through patches of dense forest before coming to a plateau on the ridgeline around 2.5 miles. The trail slightly descends onto the decommissioned Bear Creek Road. Continue straight and the first scenic point is on the left hand side at just under 3.5 miles. Continue for a short period through overgrowth and thicket and you'll find yourself on the ridgeline with an expansive view of Mount Hood, Laurance Lake, and the surrounding verdant forest. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Less trafficked. Views.


No potable water. No restrooms.

Trailhead Elevation

3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)

Highest point

4,000.00 ft (1,219.20 m)


Near lake or river
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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