Last weekend, we took Rigby along on day trip to dog-friendly Lost Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest. On the way there and back, we stopped in Cascade Locks to see the Bonneville Fish Hatchery and grab a bite to eat!
Not only is Lost Lake beautiful, with an amazing up-close view of Mt. Hood, but it features a really interesting geological quirk: every year, the entire lake drains like a bathtub! Hence the name. Luckily, we visited when it was still full!
Before renting a boat, we decided to walk the scenic loop around the lake, which is about 3.2 easy, level miles.
Next time, we’ll be sure to bring some snacks! There were several open day-use areas with docks or picnic tables that would have made for great lunch spots.
After the loop, we headed to the resort to rent a boat. We chose a rowboat, thinking it would feel more stable for Rigby, but looking back a canoe or doubles kayak would have probably been better (since in those, two people can row simultaneously).
Despite not being much of a swimmer, Rigby was a champ! She was a little off-balance at first, but after some treats and encouragement she quickly gained confidence.
Cascade Locks is about halfway between Lost Lake and Portland, so it made for a great pit stop to stretch our legs.
First, we paid a visit to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery, which has several dog-friendly outdoor ponds and tanks that are open to the public (and free). We spent a surprising amount of time here, and it wasn’t even spawning time! There are rows and rows of tiny fish, and a few ponds with larger rainbow trout, salmon, and sturgeons.
Of course, I saved the best for last — Herman the Sturgeon! This famous fish is 80 years old, over 10 feet long, and almost 500 pounds. And I’m pretty sure he and Rigby made direct eye contact.
Cascade Locks also has some great dog-friendly options for food. We ended up at Thunder Island Brewing‘s patio for some pulled pork, marionberry cider, and a fantastic view of the Columbia River. (If wine’s more your thing, Hood Crest Winery in Hood River is also on the way back.)
And if you still have room for dessert, hit up the Eastwind Drive-In for an unwieldy tower of soft-serve. Preferably vanilla, so you can share.
Do you have any favorite spots to visit with your pup in Cascade Locks or Mt. Hood? Share in the comments below!