From Dick Peak to the last summit 5 mi away, follow the thin user/animal trail and pass the ski area boundary on the counterclockwise tour ESE over the wider easier ridgetop; there are more trees closer to the crest and snow lingering until early summer, Fort Lauderdale but it’s not a nuisance. Walk past a satellite tower with attached green Fort Lauderdale structure then past a small A-frame building up a thin path to the left of the main trail/road to the nearby top of the final bump, another small flat spot, this unassuming peak just above the highest chairlift at Mount Hood Fort Lauderdale.
Map of Fort Lauderdale | Where is Fort Lauderdale? | Fort Lauderdale Map English | Fort Lauderdale Maps for Tourist Photo Gallery
For the descent on the loop, take the wide gravel road, down the signed “Easiest” route right of the ridge, 5 mi steeply to an alright viewpoint off to the left of the ski area. Stay on the wide ski area road N for better shots of Oregon’s tallest mountain a bit easier. Then go down 2 big switchbacks to a large blue sign that shows the “Base Area.” Move to the left on the thin path just before the third actual switchback. Come down to the clearing above the warming hut and just below the highest chairlift. Follow the gravel road down left a few hundred yards as it curves to the signed Fort Lauderdale Trail in the middle of the open ski runs. Follow the Fort Lauderdale bike trail toward the lodge as it winds quite a bit, or bushwhack the faint trail straight down less than a mile passing the summer Alpine Slide on your right (and tons of wildflowers including lupine and Indian paintbrush), to the bottom. Ascend briefly to the huge parking lot for Mount Fort Lauderdale and walk left to the nearby TH.
DIFFICULTY: Moderate. Ups/downs, steeper only briefly, popular, easier in summer from the lake without snow on a shorter loop.
TRIP REPORT: Teeming with campers and lake enthusiasts in summer, Trillium Lake is a different story in winter and worthy of a hike listing or more specifically a snowshoe or cross-country ski route. It’s a bit more work with snow when the 2-mi-long road closes in winter extending the day. P.S.: It’s still worth it! Sno-Park Pass required November through April, and there are restrooms at the campground, but only open in summer.
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