A Visit to the Roaring River Wilderness

Glacial-gouged lakes, open sub-alpine meadows, old-growth timber, spring wildflowers and steep terrain. The six square-mile Roaring River Wilderness has it all, and some good fishing to boot.

After parking near Hideaway lake, I spent seven hours of a beautiful sunny day hiking a 12-mile loop with many steep ascents and descents along the way.

Shellrock Lake, the Rock Lakes, Serene Lake and Cache Meadow were the highlights of the trek.

The brilliant white plumes of beargrass and the exquisite pinks of the wild rhododendrons added to the spectacular setting. Various varieties of delicate wild orchids were beginning to bloom too.

Returning to the trailhead, I admonished myself for not backpacking into Serene Lake and spending a few days exploring the Wilderness.

Deep blue Serene Lake

Deep blue Serene Lake (Is there a prettier setting?)



Beargrass and Rhodies lining the trail

Beargrass plumes, pink Rhododendrons and a few purple Penstemons add beauty to the trail

Mertens' Coral Root Orchid

Mertens’ Coral Root Orchid

Cache Meadow

Red Paintbrush sprinkled on Cache Meadow

The beginning of the hike

The beginning of the hike

White Bog Orchid

White Bog Orchid

Shellrock Lake

Shellrock Lake below a large talus slope

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold (?)

Mt. Hood from a viewpoint along the trail (a sharp eye can spot Paradise Park)

Mt. Hood from a 5,000-foot viewpoint along the trail (a sharp eye can spot Paradise Park)



Reflections in a small pond near Cache Meadow

Beargrass reflections in a small pond near Cache Meadow



Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , ,


  1. John

    Thanks for publishing and sharing. I had not heard of these lakes and hike. Debbie and I are going to have to check it out.

    Tom Sidley


    • You would enjoy the hike Tom. As the crow flies, the wilderness area is about 10 miles west of Timothy Lake. However, unlike Timothy Lake the area sees little use. There are some blowdowns on the trail between Rock Lakes and Serene Lake, but they are relatively easy to get around. If you decide to do the hike, this is the prime time with all the wildflowers in bloom.

  2. It’s weird you bring up buckbean. I recently saw it in a wildflower book – and put it on to ‘want to see’ list. Very cool flower!

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