Backpack to Burnt Lake

Rate this Adventure Oregon Burnt Lake Trailhead

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This is an amazing hike through Mt. Hood National Forest, passing by an incredible waterfall, and leading you to a beautiful lake.

After getting your back country permit from a park ranger, you can park your car and head up zig zag mountain. There's a tiny 'parking lot' (lot of dirt) where you park that's right by the trailhead.

The hike up to the campsites is roughly 4 miles, and it is all uphill. Not only are you surrounded by the tall trees in this national forest, but you cross over some beautiful creeks, and pass by a few waterfalls, making this hike unforgettable. Once you reach the campground, it is hard to tell where the actual campsites are. You have to look closely for site numbers, and patches of land. If you don't have a view of the lake from your campsite, know that the lake is not far, as the campsites are all surrounding the lake. Burnt Lake has a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, and the mountain reflects into the lake crystal clear. This is a wonderful opportunity to snap some photos, I would recommend at sunrise or sunset to ensure some amazing lighting. 

From your campsite, you can hike another 3 miles up to the summit of zig zag mountain, which provides even more spectacular views of Mt. Hood, as well as fields of wildflowers. Once you reach the rocky summit, there are a few shaded areas under the trees where you can relax and enjoy the breathtaking views.

We were warned that there are bears in the area, even though we didn't see any, it is important to be cautious of them! 

Pack List

  • Back Country Permit
  • Water
  • Food
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Backpack
  • Hiking Boots
  • Camera
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

14 Miles

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Waterfall
Wildflowers

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Added by Angela Clarke

Texas gal based out of Austin, TX traveling the world with her best friend.

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