A Magical Autumn Hike to Burnt Lake

A crisp, cool, see-your breath morning. Fallen leaves crunching under my boots. I was on one of the best Halloween season hikes in the Pacific Northwest.

After walking through a stile I followed the pleasant trail along Burnt Creek for several miles before crossing the Creek. Old burnt-out cedars were scattered along the trail serving as reminders of a severe forest fire in the 1800s. One of the cedars was almost 12 feet across at the base.

After climbing the headwall on the well-graded trail, I reached very scenic Burnt Lake. The reflections of fresh snow-covered Mt. Hood in Burnt Lake were at their best.

The next mile of the trail passed another small lake before reaching the Zigzag Mountain Trail. Soon I was at the 4,971-foot summit of East Zigzag Mountain. The views were extraordinary in all directions with Mt. Hood seemingly close enough to touch.

What a beautiful place to be and only 44 miles from Portland as the raven flies.

Mt. Hood reflected in Burnt Lake

East Zigzag Mountain

Morning dew

Mt. Hood and Burnt Lake from East Zigzag Mountain

Burnt Lake

Why it’s called Burnt Lake Trail

Heavy winds on the summit of Mt. Hood

Burnt Lake

A cloudy reflection of Mt. Hood in Burnt Lake





Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , ,


  1. Stunning scenery and photos, John. Very nice.

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