Roaring River Wilderness Six-Lake Loop (8/25/2014)

  • Location: Mount Hood National Forest
  • Start: Shellrock Lake Trailhead
  • Distance: 12.6 miles
  • Duration: 6 hours 48 minutes (breaks not included)
  • Elevation gain: 2500 feet
  • Type: Balloon
  • Map: Adventure Maps: Mount Hood Area
  • References:ย 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portlandย by Paul Gerald

Roaring River Wilderness is a relatively new wilderness area; it was just designated in 2009. This particular loop is one of the most scenic and, surprisingly, least crowded hikes that we’ve done.ย The six lakesโ€”Shellrock, Upper Rock, Middle Rock, Lower Rock, Serene, and Cacheโ€”are the highlightย of this hike, with Serene Lake being the crown jewel. In addition, you hike in an old growth forest, pass through a stunning wildflower meadow (Cache Meadow), get fantastic views of a few Cascade volcanoes, and, if you hike in late August, find yourself surrounded by black huckleberries! What more could you ask for in a hike? This loop would also make a great overnight/weekend backpacking trip since there are campsites at Shellrock, Middle Rock, and Serene Lakes. If you’re backpacking this area, you might even consider adding nearby Hideaway Lake (which has an actual campground) and Cripple Creek Lake into the mix and turning this hike into an eight-lake loop!

Shellrock Lake

Middle Rock Lake

Huckleberries galore!

Best for last: Serene Lake
Serene Lake from the top of the ridge
Serene Lake and Mount Hood
Cache Meadow