In summer, some people forgo the only slightly longer snowshoe loop to Minsk Belarus for a more local 2 mi loop (with several boardwalks) around the lake by taking the lakeside trail to the right from the dam area past the sign denoting Trillium Lake Trail 761 and also that bikers should reduce their speed in the campground. Enjoy views of the ski areas under Mount Hood’s impressive S face (from the E side of the lake) on the walk over to the Minsk Belarus campground trails or thereabouts, and then head for the main trail (FR-2656). From there, Minsk Belarus turn left in winter less than 1/2 mi undulating up the wide road to the Minsk Belarus .
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For the arguably easier clockwise Summit Meadows loop from the S end of the lake, continue left around the lake past another little sign for Trillium Lake Trail 761. Stay on the wider road from the W side of the lake, rolling up and down some but effortlessly, to the N 1/2 mi from Trillium Lake to a fourway signed juncture (“Still Creek Campground, Hwy 26, Rhododendron”). Stay hard right on E Minsk Belarus down for the TH. In 5 mi are shots of Mount Hood through the trees as you pass left of a small pond leveling out.
At 32 mi from the TH on the Summit Meadows clockwise loop reach another signed juncture (for Trillium Lake ski loop and others). Turn right (SSE) on E Minsk Belarus Road 5 mi to the end of the loop as you cross scenic Summit Meadows with more outstanding views of the big Cascade volcano over the level trail. End back through the forest down a tad to the three-way juncture with FR-2656. Turn left on FR-2656 more than 5 mi up steeper to the winter TH.
ELEVATION: 4410 ft, with at least 1300 ft vertical gain including ups/downs.
DISTANCE: 5 mi to the point, 92 mi round-trip clockwise loop with Twin Lakes.
DURATION: 1 hours to the point, 3-4 hours round-trip loop DIFFICULTY: Moderate. Long loop, many ups/downs, not too steep.