July is a great time to go out and explore Oregon! The weather is nice and most, if not all, of the snow, is melted around the various lakes allowing people to camp and recreate. Timothy Lake is one of the largest lakes on Mt. Hood. Did you know it isn’t a natural lake? Timothy Lake is an artificial lake that was formed when Portland General Electric dammed the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in 1956 for hydroelectric power generation. The area was used by sheepherders that would have their livestock use Timothy Fields for summer grazing.
How did Timothy Lake get its name? The name of the meadow was derived from the sheepherder’s practice of spreading Timothy grass seed to supplement the natural grasses in the meadow.
At full pool, Timothy Lake has a surface area of nearly 1,300 acres and over 57,000 acre-feet of water, and a depth of 80 feet.
The hike is about 12 miles all around the lake. You will use trail #528 and also link up to the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 for a couple more miles. The trail is relatively easy with about a 400-foot elevation gain. Trail #528 is open to horses, hiking, and mountain bike riding. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed to mountain bikes so do keep that in mind.