Mid to late June through October is the time to head a little deeper into the Roaring River Wilderness and experience fantastic trails that loop around the Rock Lakes Basin. The 9-mile loop starts from the Frazier Trailhead off of the bumpy Frazier Mountain Road. Add an out and back from Shellrock Lake Trailhead, which is easier to get to than Frazier, and make the run close to 12 miles.
The start from Shellrock Lake Trail #700 starts by entering a clear cut forest to Shellrock Lake. The trail hugs the lake for a half-mile then ascends almost 1000 feet in less than two miles through the old-growth forest toward Frazier Mountain. The huckleberries provide a nice snack in late summer.
Turn left onto Grouse Point Trail #517 and continue on to Frazier Mountain to start the loop. The summit of Frazier Mountain is reached in about 3/4 of a mile. Then Grouse Point descends toward Cripple Creek Trail. This junction is in the center of the beautiful Cache Meadow. Wildflowers bloom throughout Cache Meadow in the heart of the summer.
Stay on Grouse Point Trail following Cache Meadow through several switchbacks and climb up to a cliff that offers a glimpse of Serene Lake. Mt. Hood is viewable on a clear day.
After a short and flat section, Grouse Point descends through more switchbacks through thick old-growth forest to the Serene Lake Trail Junction. Turn right and continue down to Serene Lake. After a scree patch, the lake is viewable from several camping spots.
Pass a creek at the end of the lake and continue dropping down Serene Lake Trail for another mile. Cross the South Fork of the Roaring River and start climbing again. Along the climb are trails on both sides of the trails to each of the three Rock Lakes. These short trails require some bushwhacking and are not part of the loop. Continue on Serene Lake Trail passing the swampy creeks of the Rock Lakes Basin, back to the summit of the Frazier turnaround and the Grouse Point Trail junction. Turn right to head back down to Shellrock Lake Trail and back down to the Shellrock Lake Trailhead.