Fishing was more limiting than I was expecting - having never been to a Mt Hood lake before. There were 6-10 spots located at small clearings around the lake, however, some of those clearings - in particular a nice spot to the left of where the trail dumps you at the lake... have camps right behind them and surprisingly enough, the campers are not very quiet and even like to swim?!
I was VERY impressed with how clean the trail and the camp area was.. I have seen some serious signs of nature abuse since ive been here, sad - it so beautiful in Oregon.
I did not get lost (used All Trails map) and recorded the following stats:
Total out and back length: 8.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,470 Feet
Avg Pace: 25:33 /mile
Total Time (including rests) 3 hours 48 mins of hiking.
(This includes the trail that goes around the lake - which really you have to walk anyhow. I missed un-pausing as I moved from one spot on the far side of the lake and moved to the more productive rock formation.)
The hike was nice through the forest - a bit muddy in spots (easily avoidable), small river crossings on rocks, and the river actually runs down part of the trail. Since all the water was so low I assume, I was able to make the hike in regular shoes and my feet did not get wet.
Just a heads up: I arrived at the lake around 11 (got to the trailhead at 8:45 or so) and there was only 1 small family camping (3 groups passed me with camping gear on the way up the mountain). When I left at 1:15 there were 2 families and I hiked by 5 more groups of campers on their way up the mountain... though I think there may be more camping up ZigZag trail.
I did not expect to see so many people on a Wednesday.