Recently (ok so it was two months ago), I was staying up near Mount Hood and had planned a late morning hike. After doing a little research and getting a couple recommendations, Mirror Lake seemed to be the perfect fit. The trailhead is easy to find just along the southside of Highway 26 between Rhododendron and Government Camp. A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead and can be purchased nearby.
The trail travels about 1.5 miles uphill at a steady pace (total hike is about 3 miles roundtrip with a 750 ft. elevation gain). It is not too strenuous, but is a good workout. Most of the hike meanders through forest and over a small stream here and there, but also offers some great views of the forest.
Once the lake is neared, the trail can be followed in either direction to loop around it. Mirror lake itself does not disappoint. It is a serene little lake with a wonderful view of Mt. Hood. There are several campsites along the trail and a few areas of “beach” to stop for lunch, rock-skipping or reflection.