Hiking Project Logo

blue Burnt Lake Trail #772

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store


8.0 mile 12.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 2,056' 627 m
Descent: -1,435' -437 m
High: 4,735' 1,443 m
Low: 2,698' 822 m


Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 48% (25°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Kathleen Walker

Taking the north part of Burnt Lake Trail is a great day trip into the Mt. Hood Wilderness.

Kathleen Walker

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Wildflowers

Family Friendly This trail is good for older children who can navigate the full 7 miles required for the out-and-back. The trail is not too steep and has plenty of rest stops along the way.

  • A Northwest Forest Pass or other valid trail pass is required at the trailhead.
  • All trail users must obtain a self-issued wilderness permit at the trailhead.
  • Groups are limited to 12 individuals. Larger groups must separate by one mile AND one hour.
  • No fires are allowed at Burnt Lake. Camping and day-use are allowed in designated areas only.
  • Snow can linger until June.


The entirety of Burnt Lake Trail #772 stretches 7.72 miles through the iconic Mt. Hood Wilderness from just southeast of Lost Creek Campground, south to Enola Hill off Road 27 along Hwy 26. The first half of the trail is a moderate 3.5-mile one way (7 mile round trip) to the namesake lake. Hikers can continue up and over Zigzag Mountain if they stage a second vehicle at the Burnt Lake South Trailhead. Trail conditions and maintenance south of Burnt Lake drops off noticeably. Because of this, it's recommended that most hikers stick to the north half.

The first third of a mile of trail follows an overgrown logging road through an old timber sale unit. The next 1.5 miles of trail travels between two tributaries of Lost Creek, the one on your right (south) drains Burnt Lake and the larger stream to your left (north) is Lost Creek. In various drainages, you'll see fire-scarred snags and the occasional old growth cedar that survived the area's fire history.

During the first 2.5 miles, the trail climbs about 1000 feet to a user-made spur that leads down to some falls and a campsite on Lost Creek. Just past there, the Burnt Lake Trail makes a large switchback southwest, towards the lake basin, climbing about 600 feet in the last mile.

The trail skirts the right (northwest) side of the lake with the best Mt. Hood views and photo opportunities towards the far end. At that point, there is a user trail that continues counter clockwise around the southeast side of the lake accessing additional day use and campsites.

Both day users and overnight campers need to stay in designated use sites to minimize use impacts and protect ongoing rehabilitation and restoration areas around the lake shore. Lettered sites (A,B,C etc.) are for day use only. Numbered sites are for day or overnight users.

Hikers should take a paper map with them. Options include the Government Camp USGS quad (available for download online), the Mt. Hood Wilderness map, the Mt. Hood National Geographic Map, or something of similar scale. Nearby developed camping options include Lost Creek and McNeil Campgrounds.

Flora & Fauna

The trail highlights second growth Cascade forests with predominantly Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar along the drainages. Alders and vine maple provide color in fall. Mountain hemlock, noble fir, and silver fir are found up near the lake. Ground cover is sword fern, Oregon grape, salal, oxalis, salmonberry, and maidenhair fern.


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Aug 11, 2018
Austin Bates
Sep 28, 2017
Chris Lauretano
Sep 24, 2017
Zoe Turi
Burnt Lake site C is the best view of Mt Hood from the lake. Climb to first vista of Zig Zag for higher view of Mt Hood, Mt St Helen, Mt Jefferson. 9mi
Sep 23, 2017
Curtis Peetz
Aug 21, 2017
Angie Harrison

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes


  4.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Oregon


12 Views Last Month
1,178 Since Aug 29, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

Lauren Anderson
Portland, OR
Lauren Anderson   Portland, OR
8.6.18 great day to hike - we went all the way past the lake to the Zig Zag trail and East lookout. Was great - the only bummer was it was super buggy! Didn't ruin our fun though Aug 6, 2018

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking