Hike to Lake Deer via Lake Dorothy Trailhead

Rate this Adventure Lake Dorothy Trailhead

Enjoy a short trip into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and visit 3 lakes along the way: Lake Dorothy, Lake Bear, and Lake Deer.

Start off by traveling along Highway 2 and turning towards the Money Creek Campground. Turn off onto Forest Road 6410 and follow that to the Lake Dorothy Trailhead (about 9 miles).

This first section of the hike can be pretty crowded on a nice summer day as the trail is very family friendly and it is only 1.9 miles to reach Lake Dorothy with 800' of elevation gain. After the first mile you will come to a nice bridge crossing over some whitewater rapids. From here, you will do the majority of your climb to Lake Dorothy.

Just before you reach the Lake, there is a split in the trail. If you take the path right, that will bring you to a log jam that gives you a great viewpoint of the entire 1.5 mile length of the lake. Go back to the split and take the trail left, and this will lead you around the lake. You travel roughly 1.8 miles on a relatively flat trail to reach the inlet for the lake. Cross the stream and prepare to start going uphill.

After 800' of elevation gain and 1.6 miles, you will arrive to the top of the pass before Bear Lake. You can see the lake through the trees, but you have another 1/2 mile with 200' descent before you get to the west shore. From here, it is another 1/2 mile until you reach Lake Deer. You can find campsites near the shore at both Bear and Deer lakes.

Pack List

  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • 10 essentials
  • Bug Spray
  • Camera
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RT Distance 12.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 1600 Feet
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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