Tom Dick and Harry hike via the Mirror Lake Trailhead
Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea there was a hike called Tom Dick and Harry. Well, there is. And it’s quite good.
Distance: 6.4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1,710 feet
Pass Required: No, limited parking
Multiple Routes: Yes, to the lake and to the ridge
Word of Warning: This hike is very popular to the lake
From Portland, take Highway 84 East to Exit 16, NE 238 Drive in Wood Village. Take a right off of the exit. NE 238 turns into NE 242 Drive. Take a right onto NE Burnside Road, which will turn into Route 26. Continue on Route 26 through Sandy, Mt Hood Village and Rhododendron. Just passed mile post 51 at a bend in the road, will be a parking lot to the right. This is the trailhead for Mirror Lake.
If you’ve ever driven up to Government Camp or Mt Hood, you may (like me) noticed a bend in the road with pull off just outside of Gov’t Camp teeming with parked cars. That is the trailhead to Mirror Lake and the Tom Dick and Harry trail. For the first time in 5 years, I actually parked there to explore.
The trail starts off on the right foot: a bridge crossing over a roaring river. Personally, I love bridge crossings and starting a hike off with one just feels good. The trail gently winds itself into the trees and uphill on a very well-maintained trail. It’s not steep and to Mirror Lake, it’s just a mere 1.4 miles, making it for a very popular hike (read: busy).
Just before reaching the lake, you come to a junction, keep to the right for the Tom Dick and Harry trail. You will walk along the western portion of the lake and you may notice a few clutch camp spots nestled into the hillside to your right. I’m sure once the crowds dissipate on a beautiful day, having the lake to yourself and a few other campers is pure gold.
The trail will divide once more: to the left is the Mirror Lake loop trail and to the right will take you away from the lake and uphill to Tom Dick and Harry. I recommend heading to the ridge first and on the way back, finishing the lake loop.
There’s only one real switchback, symbolized by a giant pile of abnormally large rocks. It’s hard to miss. About a mile more and you’ll reach the rocky outcrop at the end of the trail. There are three peaks on the ridge and it is enticing to want to continue the hike; however, the first two peaks (Tom & Dick) are off limits as it’s a protected habitat for peregrine falcons. Nonetheless, the view from Harry is all you really need. Mt Hood ever-present and on a clear day you can see just about every major peak within 250 miles. It’s full exposure up top, so pack a warm fleece if it’s windy.
As with most hikes that are easily accessible and have great views for minimal effort, this hike will get busy. We set out early and had most of the trial and peak to ourselves, but coming down we passed a plethora of families all heading up to the lake. So get out on the trail early.
No forest pass is required to park and the hike is gradual enough that it is very dog-friendly.