Top 5 Things to Do in Trout Lake, Washington You Can’t Miss

One of the biggest draws of this town is the breathtaking views of Mt. Adams. Yes, you read it right, actually, Trout Lake is a small town that offers offbeat places to stay and a lot of outdoor activities nearby. A truly hidden gem for nature lovers. That’s why today I’m talking about the best things to do in Trout Lake, Washington, and nearby. In order to light up your path to this stunning community, I’ll share useful information too.

Trout Lake is a tiny town located on the northwest side of Klickitat County, Washington, the town is mostly known for its herb and dairy farms, both completely organic. Also, it serves as an access point to Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount Adams (which is only 23 km in distance to the south). The National Forest is perfect for outdoor activities, offering hiking trails, with amazing peaks and waterfalls, also, you can explore some ice caves. Trout Lake town makes a perfect getaway for outdoor lovers, you’ll be able to head out and enjoy the scenic landscape, do whitewater rating or do some glamping and camping.

The town is at the Trout Lake Valley, with Trout Lake Creek on the southeast which drains to the White Salmon River.

mount adam view from trout lake in washington
mount adam view from trout lake in Washington. Source: Flickr – Eclectic Jack

Things to Do in Trout Lake and Nearby

Go on a Hiking Adventure

Trout Lake is definitely one of the best places to go hiking, the town is perfectly surrounded by great hikes and many of them with waterfalls and peaks. You’ll be able to enjoy nature, do wildlife watching and get a stunning view of the surroundings.

A must-do hike while in Trout Lake, WA is the Langfield Falls hike. The trail of the head is located northwest of the town, an easy hike that will take you to the falls. The path is a well-pointed dirt trail and takes up to a 5-10min walk. The Lanfield Fall is a 60 feet high waterfall with a 75 feet pool where you can take a swim on a hot day.

Hikes near Trout Lake, Washington

  • Mount Adams South Climb Trail
  • Trout Creek Meadow And Trails
  • Sleeping Beauty Trail
  • Buck Creek-Lower
  • Indian Heaven Trail to Lake Wapiki
  • Lemei Trailhead
  • Killen Creek Trail

There are plenty more hikes in the area, I just listed the ones I liked the most. You can get a full list of the hikes near the town with a simple search, here.

Explore the Guler Ice Caves

At the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, you will find one of the many ice caves the surroundings have to offer and one of the most popular. The Guler Ice Caves, an almost 700-foot-long cave that was discovered a long time ago, and it‘s composed of four sections that are separated by collapsed sinks. The caverns are part of a 2.000-foot lava tube, also part of the Cascade Range.

You’ll be heading down a staircase to the dark cave, you’ll need a flashlight to spot all the ice that’s around. A stunning sight is full of frozen stalactites.

If you enjoyed your trip to eh Guler Ice Caves, there’s another option, Cheese Caves. This cave was used as a natural freezer to store and age the products made by a cheese company. In this case, you’ll find a ladder made out of wood, head down and you’ll be t the bottom of a cavern surrounded by lavacicles, a 10min walk inside the cave will take you to the other side where you’ll find the exit staircase.

Whitewater rafting over Husum Falls

As I mentioned before, Trout Lake Creek drains to the White Salmon River on the southeast, and here is where you’ll be doing whitewater rafting. There are many agencies and companies offering those trips, like PDX Rafting and All Adventures Rafting.

The White Salmon River is well known for its glacial water that starts flowing down from Mt. Adams. And the best way to experience the whitewater raft is from BZ Corner to Husum Falls, a Class III-IV rapid with a thrilling cliff-jumping. A must-do while you are visiting Trout Lake in Washington.

Climb the Big Lava Bed

Located on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, about 40 minutes from Trout Lake heading toward Goose Lake lies the incredible Big Lava Bed. This 12,500-acre crater contains quirky formations such as high rock piles, crevasses, and caves. In the north of the lava bed, you’ll be facing an 800ft hill with pines, meadows and mosses here and there.

It can be a great thing to do in Lake Trout if you have never been to an old lava trail or crater before, the area is stunning and breathtaking.

Spend some time at the town

The town itself is cozy and small with inns, restaurants, and bars where you can spend a great time. You can head to KJ’s Bear Creek Cafe to enjoy nice food and coffee or to The Station Cafe to enjoy a huckleberry milkshake, also called the Andy’s Valley Service, it is located on Highway 141, a nice place where you can enjoy a burger and a milkshake.

How to get there

The best way to get there is by car, you can rent a car or hire a driver. The State Route 141 and NFD Road 23 pass by the town, so you can get to Trout Lake town from Seattle, WA, or Portland, OR. You can just put it on Google Map, and it will be easier.

From Seattle

It’ll take approximately 4h to get from Seattle to Trout Lake, since it’s almost 162 miles away.

From Portland

One of the fastest ways to get to Lake Trout is from Portland, which is only 87.14 miles away, and it’ll take you approximately 2h to get there.

In both cases, you’ll enjoy a fantastic road trip with incredible views.


Trout Lake has many things to do nearby, not just the one I mentioned, you can enjoy exploring the surroundings and checking out the amazing natural bridges that are scattered around the town. It’s a paradise for nature and outdoor lovers. The town is small and welcoming with a nice countryside touch.  The biggest draws are the views of Mt. Adams, which makes the perfect landscape for great photos and a great option for a getaway.

Last Updated on October 15, 2023

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