Second Saturday of September, low 40°s and not a cloud in the sky at a trailhead in the early morning – – – what a great way to start the day. I was standing 15 miles south of Mt. Hood in a large sub-alpine meadow near the Little Crater Campground. In a short distance I reached Little Crater Lake, 100 feet wide, 45 feet deep and crystal blue to its very bottom where an artesian spring feeds the lake.
Another one-quarter mile led to an intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. Turning south, I began the long loop hike around Timothy Lake, an impoundment on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River. The brilliant reds of vine maple leaves were reflected in the clear, blue waters of the Lake in open areas. Some late colorful wildflowers also lent beauty along the way.
The magnificent view of Mt. Hood over Timothy Lake has been the source of a multitude of magazine covers over the years. I did my best to capture another one. At the ten-mile mark, I took a side detour to Mediation Point on the north side of the Lake. After a short rest and a snack, I completed the last three miles to the Trailhead. I thought to myself – – – is there any prettier place in the world than the Pacific Northwest on a late summer day?