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Trillium Lake Loop Professional Review and Guide
"Trillium Lake is a classic winter sight, and not something you would expect to find so close to a highway. The wide sweep of the frozen lake surface lends a natural sense of drama that you might think exists only in nature calendars. In fact, Trillium Lake and the view of Mount Hood beyond has been featured prominently on hundreds of picture-postcards, book covers, and, yes, calendars. Once you get there you’ll understand why. The broad expanse of the lake opens the skyline to reveal Oregon’s tallest volcano in all its majesty."
--Shea Andersen, Snowshoe Routes: Oregon (The Mountaineers Books).
A great trail but it is becoming a tourist attraction. The entry to the loop (down a large hill) is very packed with people trying to down hill ski, snowboard, and sled down the trail. It's becomes very dangerous as many people are out of control. Once you get on the loop it's much better but parking is difficult due to all the sledders. We are going to start looking for other places that are safer and have less sledding/tourist traffic.
I'm writing this three years after I went around the loop. The scenery was great but the snow was very hard packed and all I had were meter long snow shoes that my father had used in Alaska. This was a pretty terrible combination and it was pretty miserable for me. With tiny snow shoes I'm sure it would be quite an enjoyable trek.
This is a great trail. It is very easy to access with a great parking area. As a beginner this was a perfect trail. I would reccommend this trail to anyone just getting started or looking for a nice easy day.
The snow wasn't the best this weekend, it was very hard-packed and crusty on top, but this is a good loop no matter what. There were lots of people out, but if you get there before 11am you'll miss most of them. Seems like most people show up after lunch. This is a good trail for dogs.
The Trillium Lake area is definitely a fun place to snowshoe, especially if you like going off of the trail. The main sno-park is VERY, VERY crowded on weekends, as is the trail itself–lots of parents towing little ones in sleds and lots of cross country skiiers. We didn't stay on the main trail at all, since it hadn't snowed in a while and even if it had, all the use packs the snow down til it's as hard as the road surface. Off the trail, the snow was soft and we had about 6-8" of fluff to trounce around in. The main trail would be perfect in a foot of new snow and some solitude. We had a beautiful blue-sky day at Trillium Lake. The view of the mountain from the far side of the lake is great. You can't blame the crowds for wanting to play here. :)
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