Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
230.00 ft (70.10 m)
4.50 mi (7.24 km)
Warming hut
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.

Trillium Lake is a great winter destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, offering dramatic views of Mount Hood to the north. Additionally, there is a good sledding area at the southeastern edge of the parking lot. The 65-acre, man-made lake was formed by the damming of Mud Creek, a tributary of Salmon Creek.

The Trillium Lake trailhead begins at the northwest corner of the parking lot where you will find a suggested donation box; like many of the winter trail systems in the area, operators rely on donations to offset grooming costs. The access hill drops 500 feet in a half-mile, and it is fairly steep. Novice skiers should consider walking the hill. The trail flattens out as it intersects the 3.5-mile Trillium Lake Loop Trail. We recommend traveling the route counterclockwise and heading to the right at the intersection. The trail is divided in half, with cross-country ski tracks on one side and a packed snowshoeing track on the other.

The first great view of Mount Hood appears over Graves Summit Meadows, and from here the trail becomes wooded. Keep left when you reach the Sherar Burn/Still Creek Road Junction. Great views of Mount Hood towering over the lake open up once the trail crosses the dam. This area provides a perfect lunch spot at nearly the halfway point. As you continue around the loop, keep left as the Mud Creek Loop turns off to the right. Stay on the main loop trail and continue up the access hill to end the loop.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Men's and Women's • $229.95 • Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Men's and Women's • $475.00 • Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

$189.95 • 35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Men's and Women's • $134.25 • Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

$79.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Men's Powdercloud • $181.61 • Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Men's and Women's • $149.95 • Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Men's and Women's • $64.95 • Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant


If you are snowshoeing into avalanche terrain, you should be prepared, equipped and educated on how to use avalanche rescue and snow safety gear - including but not limited to an avalanche beacon/transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)


Close to Portland. Easy loop. Great views.


Crowds. Steep descent from the parking area to the trail.

Trailhead Elevation

3,830.00 ft (1,167.38 m)


Big vistas

Trail type


Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Mount Hood National Forest
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area


Even though it was cloudy and we couldn't see Mt Hood, the loop around the lake was still fun.
X-C skied the trail around the lake today and it was in good shape. (That and the pure blue sky made it pretty great!)
A surprising number of people were snowshoeing / hiking / skiing the loop given the holiday. The lake was frozen and we hesitantly made our way out onto the ice. Watched the sun go down over the lake before making our way back to the car in the dark.
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