The Burnt Lake Trail begins romantically by winding through a beautiful young forest with a forest floor that is covered in ferns and clover. Lost Creek can be heard and occasionally seen off to the right. Enjoy the shade and almost imperceptible increase in elevation for about 2 miles before crossing a small creek. The trail continues to climb gently for about a half mile as it passes some very intriguing burnt tree remains, some of which are so big you can easily stand inside of the hollowed trunk. Watch for a trail that dips off to the left and leads to a view of a small waterfall and a great resting spot. This is the main branch of Lost Creek.
Back on the main trail you'll find a switchback that leads to a steady climb for about a mile. There are a few of open areas that offer incredible views of Mount Hood and the valley below. Soon the trail arrives at the shores of Burnt Lake, where several designated campsites can be utilized. Note that wood fires are not permitted. The trail makes a loop around the lake.
To find the route to the top of Zigzag Mountain, head right. Follow a sign for the Zigzag Mountain Trail and cross a marshy area before the trail switchbacks up and out of the lake basin. After about 0.8 miles you will reach a junction between the Burnt Lake Trail and Zigzag Mountain Trail. Turn right here for a steep quarter-mile climb before the trail levels. If the wildflowers in early summer don't impress you, the outstanding views of the surrounding volcanoes surely will. Keep straight past another junction for the strenuous 0.3-mile climb to the rocky summit.