My family enjoys camping with friends at Timothy Lake. Timothy is a large lake (1500 acres), just two hours from Portland, in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake was man made, in the 1950′s by Portland General Electric. though no power is generated there, it is used to regulate water downstream flow on the Oak Grove fork of the Clackamas River.
There are four campgrounds at Timothy Lake; Pine Point, Hoodview, Oak Fork and Gone Creek. We tend toward Pine Point and Hoodview; Pine Point for the spacious group sites and Hoodview for the, you guessed it, Mt. Hood views. There are minimal services at Timothy; pit toilets and running potable water. No electric hook ups for RV’s, no running hotwater, no showers. The camphost sells generous bundles of wood for $6. Most sites are nicely treed with some shade and some sun. Timothy Lake is at 3300 feet elevation. Days can be warm, nights nippy and afternoons windy.
The Lake has a speed limit of 10 miles per hour; making it ideal for swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Strong winds can also make for good wind surfing and small sail boats. Motor boats are allowed; most seen are small run abouts, row boats and the like. Timothy is stocked with rainbow trout and also has a decent crayfish and kokanee population. Crayfishing is a favorite past time. Place traps in the coves near inlets, baited with stinky meat; cat food, pastrami, bacon etc. Crayfish are nocturnal so the best catches are found upon checking the traps in the morning. Be sure to bring along a bit of crab boil, some butter and lemon.
A gentle trail encircles the lake; 13 miles is the distance around. There are a few adjacent trails, and the Pacific Crest Trail meanders by also. There are a few walk-in or boat-in campgrounds around the lake. Little Crater Lake is a great walk or excursion by car. It is a small caldera of COLD water; average temperature is 34 degrees F. The clear blue and 48 foot depth make it quite remarkable.
Check out this cool 360 degree photo taken from the Day Use/Boat Ramp at Hoodview.
Make reservations at Timothy Lake www.recreation.gov, and search for Timothy Lake in Oregon .
Directions to Timothy Lake: From Portland head east to Sandy. From Sandy, travel east on Highway 26 for approximately 40 miles to Skyline Road (Rd 42). Turn right on Skyline Road, travel south 9 miles. Turn right on FS Road 57, west 2 miles. The four Timothy Lake campgrounds are on FS Road 57.
Make note, the nearest services ate at CJ’s, approximately 10 miles from Timothy Lake; gas, ice, tow truck, pay phone and minimal general store.