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Burnt lake

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Burnt Lake (chadahooche)
Burnt Lake in May (chadahooche)
Small Stream Crossing on Burnt Lake Trail (chadahooche)
Secret Waterfall (Lost Creek) (chadahooche)

Description

This is a nice small mountain lake on the flanks of the Zigzag Ridge which connects to the southwest side of Mount Hood. There are about ten designated campsites, marked with a post and the number of the site. Fires are not allowed. The lake is pretty busy on summer weekends, and you might not be able to find a vacant site. For those interested in backpacking, this is a great starting destination.

Three miles of National Forests roads wind their way to the trailhead; watch for downed trees if going before trail crews have got a chance to clear them in the spring. There's ample parking space at the trailhead.

The trail is mostly shaded, providing a reprieve from the summer heat. The trail crosses several streams along the way to the lake, making it easy to top off your water bottle frequently. Because of the dense canopy, limited sun exposure, and North facing slope, the last .5 mile to the lake can retain snow into the spring.

Before the ascent to the last ridge before the lake, a faint trail diverts left from the main trail. This faint trail welcomes you to the "secret" waterfall of Lost Creek, which can be thunderous in the spring and summer months.

The Burnt Lake Trail goes along the northwest side of the lake. You can find a route around the lake, but it requires a bit of bushwhacking in places. The lake is said to be stocked with trout, so feel free to try your hand at some fishing!

The best views of Mt. Hood appear on the southeast corner of the lake. Most of the designated campsites are in the northern corner of the lake.

As long as you're here, walk up the Burnt Lake and Zigzag Mountain Trails to East Zigzag Mountain, about a mile and 900 feet elevation gain away.

Burnt Lake is named after a 1904 forest fire. An even larger blaze, accidentally started by a local homesteader in 1906, scorched a wider area around the lake. In those days, the forest understory was more open, but most of the big trees remaining were killed by the 1906 fire.

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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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