Burnt Lake Visit

The first Sunday of November was a dreary, drizzly day. It was time to get outdoors and enjoy a wonderful autumn hike. The thought of waterfalls, autumn leaves and one of the prettiest lakes in the Mt. Hood area was in my mind as I drove to the 2,700-foot Burnt Lake Trailhead.

After walking through a stile I followed the well-maintained trail along Burnt Creek for several miles before crossing the Creek. Huge burnt-out cedars left as reminders of a severe forest fire in the 1800s were scattered along the Trail.

In the next one-half mile I came to Lost Creek Falls, a series of four waterfalls in a small canyon. The Trail then gained 700 feet in the next mile as it ascended the steep headwall below the Lake.  Soon I reached Burnt Lake.

The skies were the color of concrete and rain continued to fall. I found a dry spot near the lakeshore, took off the pack and enjoyed the beautiful setting. On a typical day Mt. Hood would have been clearly visible behind the Lake. But this day I had to use my imagination.

All in all the hike was 7.2 miles in length with 1,600 feet of elevation gain.

Fellow hikers at Burnt Lake

Ferns picking up their autumn colors

Small waterfall along the Trail

Bunchberry leaves with their autumn colors

Welcome to the wilderness

Lichen on a Hemlock tree

Huckleberry leaves

Alder leaves with their autumn colors

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , ,


  1. Thanks for sharing your photos from Burnt Lake, John. I’ve been there in the summer but never thought of it as an autumn hike. I love the forest from the trailhead–even saw a bear there once.

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