This perfect family-friendly hike is an easy two mile loop around Todd Lake with picturesque high-meadow scenery and views of Mt. Bachelor and Broken Top.
Parking can get tight and like most hikes on the Cascade Hwy, there is a $5.00 parking fee (cash only) if you do not have a PNW Forest Pass. The initial hill from the parking lot to the Todd Lake sign is the only real hill on the loop trail. To the right of the main Todd Lake sign is a small restroom and the trail marker for Todd Trail No. 34, which leads to either Broken Top or Green Lakes. This review, however, is for the Todd Lake Loop Trail, which is off to the left of the Todd Trail sign.
This is an easy, family friendly hike with no major inclines and a well developed trail, but the back meadow can get a bit muddy and has wood plank walkways in sections. If you keep a modest pace bugs are not an issue but if you plan to picnic or take frequent photo stops don't forget the bug spray (like we did)!
The lake is open to anglers, kayaks and paddle boards which adds to the family friendly feel of the lake. It's large enough not to feel crowded but you will be hard pressed to find any real privacy if hiking on the weekends.
As the name implies, the loop trail hugs the bank of Todd Lake's entire perimeter with some welcome meandering through the back meadows.
The high-meadows burst with wildflowers, brooks trickling through-out, most of the summer and is the highlight of the hike with stunning views of Mt. Bachelor nestled behind the lake.
If walking around the lake counter-clockwise, the hike back in the afternoon shade is welcome with more charming streams and vistas.
The final walk back down to the parking lot offers a wonderful farewell view which is often missed as you begin the hike. Snap a final selfie with Bachelor and head back down to Bend for some good grub and beers at Pacific Pizza, a local favorite (pro tip: order when driving back by Mt. Bachelor and your pizza will be ready when you arrive).
Hope you enjoy the hike as much as we did! You can view the full photo album here.