Backpack to Burnt Lake

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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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

This was such a beautiful trail. We hiked up in the evening and set up camp as the sun was setting. It was calm and we only saw one other camper and that was when we had tried to continue up Zig Zag Mountain- the trail splits once and you can go towards Mt Hood or away and we decided to go towards it but were unsure of how long to go to see the second view point. At any rate - we stopped and made coffee. There were tons swarming us but other than that I LOVED this. If you can come early or later to avoid the crowds!

This was such a beautiful trail. We hiked up in the evening and set up camp as the sun was setting. It was calm and we only saw one other camper and that was when we had tried to continue up Zig Zag Mountain- the trail splits once and you can go towards Mt Hood or away and we decided to go towards it but were unsure of how long to go to see the second view point. At any rate - we stopped and made coffee. There were tons swarming us but other than that I LOVED this. If you can come early or later to avoid the crowds!

about 1 month ago

Added by Angela Clarke

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

Activities:

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

14 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Waterfall
Wildflowers

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