Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,270.00 ft (691.90 m)
Trail type
9.50 mi (15.29 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Great views. Wildflowers. Lakeside campsites.


Wood fires prohibited.

Trailhead Elevation

2,700.00 ft (822.96 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area


Did this hike on 6-22 and did the extra mile or so to Cast Lake to scout for backpacking campsites there for the future. Total round trip was about 12.5 miles. Bring a map of the area if you plan on going to Cast since the trail signs don’t mark it until the very last junction where someone wrote it in sharpie. Worth it!
This was a great hike. The reflection of Mt. Hood in the Lake was fantastic and the views from Zigzag Mountain were great!
I did this one today following the guide exactly- and it was awesome! A couple of notes:
-The trail head from Lolo Pass road was quite easy to find following the instructions, and I had never been there before
-The gravel road to the trail head has quite a few potholes, no high clearance vehicles needed but be careful!
-There was only 1 other car in the parking area when I left the TH at 8am. (this was on a Tuesday AFTER memorial day weekend) I did not pass a single person on the trail the whole day. There was 1 group of people camped at the lake.
-When I got up to Burnt Lake, I actually missed the sign for the Zigzag Mountain Trail. Got halfway around the lake before I knew something was up. The trail sign for Zigzag Mountain Trail is actually on the trail between campsites 2 and 3 (see picture)
-Burnt Lake Trail merges with Zigzag Mountain Trail after you leave the lake basis and it sets off on it's own again right before the final accent to the top of this route.
-Thanks to Zachary Smith for posting this guide!
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