Gillette Lake

Stevenson, Washington 98648

Gillette Lake

Gillette Lake Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"For such a short trail, the way up to Gillette Lake packs a wildflower wallop. One reason for this is that the forest is maturing second- growth with plenty of light breaks. Another reason is that the trail crosses two clear-cuts.

One is nearly thirty years old, and the other is less than five. Removing an entire forest is anathema, of course, but it allows a plethora of pioneering species like shrubs and herbs to colonize the newly cleared land while the conifers slowly recover their dominance. This makes for interesting plant- watching. Also, you end up at a lake, quite an unusual end point for such a low-elevation trek."

More Gillette Lake Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day & Section Hikes Pacific Crest Trail: Washington (Wilderness Press)
Adrienne Schaefer
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"Although not the most aesthetic hike that runs along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in Washington, it is one of the first to melt out in the spring and its proximity to Portland and Vancouver makes it an easy half-day getaway. This trail is also the access point for Table Mountain, one of the more prominent features on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge." Read more
Hiking The Columbia River Gorge (Falcon Guides)
Russ Schneider, revised by Jim Yuskavitch
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"A 5-mile round-trip day hike to Gillette Lake on the famous Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). This trail offers easy day-hiking. The terrain is dominated by second growth Douglas-fir trees averaging 60-80 years and younger. Most of the hiking is through the trees, but several points offer unique views of the Columbia River Gorge and Table Mountain." Read more
Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"This is an easy hike to a small quiet lake and a small ledge granting some good views. The lake and its surroundings aren’t scenically exceptional, but their formations are. Here, about 700 years ago, large portions of nearby greenleaf and Table Mountains slid off, depositing jumbled boulders and creating varying depressions, some of which eventually became lakes. The massive landslide even blocked the Columbia River’s passage (see “The gods Must Be angry” in the western Washington section). Travel through this hummocky landscape, appreciating the sheer force of nature." Read more

Gillette Lake Reviews

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Nice trail option despite the cut areas. Lots of poison oak along Tanamous and pct to Gillette L
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This trail isn't very difficult and there was active logging going on when I was there with my girlfriend. About a third of the hike doesn't have tree cover and you can see the ugly stumps left by the logging. Regardless, the lake itself is quite pretty and if you've exhausted all your other hiking options you might as well check it out. I would actually rate it as 2.5 stars, but since that's not an option I'm rounding up!
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I must agree that this trail is not rewarding as far as scenery. There is a fair amount of logging that has or is occurring, and at one point a logging road was bulldozed across the trail. Gillette lake is a beautiful blue, but the background is tainted by the Bonneville power lines overhead. That being said, we went on this hike to get some exercise during the winter months. There was virtually no snow. In fact, the temperature was pleasant, in the high 40's, and the creek that fed Gillette Lake was raging from the snow melt. The hike is very easy (we do hike every weekend) and was easily completed in a few hours. I feel this hike is fairly safe for kids and do recommend it for winter hiking for those who want to hike year round.
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This trail is good for a workout. It is not the most scenic and has one section that is nasty if you are wearing shorts. The clear cut in the middle of the hike is narrow and full of thistles and blackberry vines. Yes, you have to travel through there both ways. It is also lacking in a rewarding scenic prize.

Gillette Lake Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Type
Skill Level
3-4 hours
Year- round. Best wildflowers: May– June
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area
Local Contacts
Green Trails #429 Bonneville Dam, OR; USGS Bonneville Dam OR- WA; DeLorme
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018