Hike to Lake Deer via Lake Dorothy Trailhead

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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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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

12.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1600 Feet

Features:

Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

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Added by Bryan Carroll

When it comes to the outdoors, I am a jack of all trades, but master of none. Life revolves around taking the path less traveled by.

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