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Paradise Park via Burnt Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mt. Hood from Paradise Park (bobcat)
Mt. Hood and Burnt Lake (bobcat)
Split Rock, Paradise Park (bobcat)
The Burnt Lake and Zizag Mountain Trails to Paradise Park (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: North Burnt Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point:Paradise Park
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 15.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3400 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: July - November
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

There are easier ways to get to Paradise Park - from Timberline Lodge or on the Paradise Park Trail, but if you're looking for a long hike on a trail with few people, try this. Also, in the spring when there is too much snow to go from Timberline Lodge, this trail might work.

Start from the North Burnt Lake Trailhead. Take the Burnt Lake Trail (#772) which is the only trail out of the trailhead. The trail goes gradually up for the first 2 miles along Lost Creek and the outlet creek from Burnt Lake. At a bend in the trail, you can make a short diversion to the top of Lost Creek Falls. Then the trail goes steeply up to Burnt Lake at mile 3.3 (4100' elevation). Burnt Lake would make a good destination for an easy hike. There is a trail around the lake (difficult to follow on the opposite side). The lake has fishing. There are 7 designated campsites, which can be full on summer weekends.

Continuing on the trail, at mile 3.6 is a nice drinking water stream which is reliable year-round. At mile 4.1 (4600') the Burnt Lake Trail dead-ends at the Zigzag Ridge and the Zigzag Mountain Trail (#775). Make sure and remember where you came from for the return trip, the turn would be easy to miss. Up to here it can be fairly crowded but there aren't many people beyond here.

Where the Burnt Lake Trail reaches the Zigzag Mountain Trail go left (east). There is a spot to camp on the Zigzag Mountain Trail in about 0.1 miles. It's not much more than a flat area next to the trail, but there are some views. At mile 4.9 (4900') there is an amazing view of Mount Hood and Paradise Park.

At about mile 5.5 or 6.0 (4600') is Lady Creek Saddle. No drinking water but a couple places you could camp at. There is this ridge a bit below that has always intrigued me as a camping spot, but I haven't quite figured out how to get down the steep slope and over to it.

At mile 6.6 (5050') are two drinking water streams. At mile 7.0 (5050') is the junction with the Paradise Park Trail. Go left (up) on the Paradise Park Trail, making sure you take a good look where you are coming from so you don't get lost on the way back. At mile 7.2 (5280') is the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, keep going straight. At mile 7.8 (5750') is the junction with the Paradise Park Loop Trail. Go left here, again remembering where you came from. You are now in Paradise Park, one of the nicest alpine areas on Mount Hood. Enjoy the wildflowers in season and visit Split Rock! See the description of Timberline to Paradise Park for more detail.

Maps

Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Northwest Forest Pass Required

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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