Burnt Lake Trail

HARD 68 reviews
#12 of 138 trails in

Burnt Lake Trail is a 7.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Rhododendron, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.4 miles
1978 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





Possible to take trail to Lost Creek Falls, 2.5 miles from trailhead for 5 miles round trip.

27 days ago

One of my favorites

5 months ago

Went on this trail in September. The weather was perfect for swimming in the lake. The trail was much shorter than we anticipated. The hike felt more moderate than strenuous. It’s Maybe 2-3 miles to the camp sites. But there is a trail you can follow that keeps going for awhile. The view of hood is gorgeous! Dogs allowed which I loved. No campfires so bring a jet boil/mini stove.

trail running
6 months ago

A bit snowy but beautiful run! I clocked 8.2 miles but ran around the lake. Well worth it! In just a few weeks I bet the fall colors will be in full swing!

7 months ago

More like a moderate hike, in my opinion. More like 7 miles RT and about 1400-1600 ft elevation. It was a bit chilly at night, but conditions were otherwise great.

For a nice hike during the day, or a quick backpack trip (like we did), Burnt Lake is scenic, mystical and very very pretty. I was blown away by the teal colored moss that covers the trees on the way up, and by the serenity of the lake.

8 months ago

All around gorgeous and diverse trail.

8 months ago

One of my favorites - the road to the trailhead was in better condition than I've seen in the past. Views are unbelievable, but really buggy this year.

9 months ago

Loved it. Don't forget to get a pass for parking just to be on the safe side. Lots of places on the way up for my dog to take a drink and a dip. Once we got to the lake the water was superb. Would do it again!

9 months ago

Parking lot full Friday around noon, had to park down the road. Trail in good condition; just a few muddy spots and creek crossings, no biggie. First couple miles or so the grade is spread out and easy. Listen for a waterfall - a short side trail to the left leads down to it, nice place for a break. Last mile up is a little steeper. The description above is incorrect, it's more like 7 miles RT to and from the lake, and ~1500 feet gain.

The lake is great - more scenic than Mirror Lake imo and a little less crowded (still, it's a lot of ppl packed in a relatively small area). There's a rough & tumble access trail around the lake; kinda overgrown and not much to see. For great views of the water with Mt Hood in the background, you'll have to tromp through one of the probably-occupied campgrounds (or take a dip) on the far/west side of the lake. If you snag one of these good spots it's a 5-star destination; come early and/or on a weekday if possible.

If you continue up the trail to the top it's a 5-star view for sure, up on Zig Zag Mtn. That'll make it 2200+ ft gain & around 10 miles RT all together. More than worth it.

9 months ago

Nice hike deep woods, once arrive: views not top, lake so so
Will not go again,

9 months ago

Overnight with a few friends and some fishing. Cute lake and great views. Just a little busy this time of year.

9 months ago

Nice hike with variety and excellent views of Mt.Hood just when you think you got to the top go a little further until you get to the true top of Zig Zag Mt. wild flowers and a large rocks at the top.

10 months ago

Moderately difficult, well maintained trail. It had some challenging terrain because of snow the last .75 miles. The trail around the lake is hard to find because of snow. Great view of Mount Hood at the lake!

11 months ago

Such a nice trail run! Not overly technical at all, great cruiser!

Snowy at the top1/2 mile on 5/24 so that's expected, but managed to reach the lake. Very pretty.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hard but worth it!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The access road to the trail head was in a better condition than in 2015.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beautiful scenery through forest, streams, lake, and mountain ridges.

Easy hike to the lake. Moderate up to Zigzag Ridge. More strenuous thereafter.

Definitely worth going 0.5 or so west along Zigzag Mountain trail to get fantastic views of Mt Hood over the lake.

Decent camping around the lake though the trail can be quite a bushwhack.

Monday, June 27, 2016

My husband and I spent the night of June 25th up at Burnt Lake. This was our first night camping while backpacking. We didn't realize the incline and how far up the trail was going to take us. Some breaks trekking up farther and farther but the stops did give us some spectacular views of the forest and Mt. Hood! Once we made it up to the lake, yay, we had to quickly find a place to pitch the tent. The camp ground is fairly small and getting up towards twilight we had to go off the trail. Luckily we found a nice natural flat area and set up. The stars were amazing and the sound of the frogs chirping away all night was a treat to fall asleep to. There are some great view points of the lake and Mt.Hood at campsite D :)
The hike down was nice and easy and always friendly hikers on the way down.
We are proud we made it and so happy that we did!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mid-June hike on what I would consider easy to moderate trail dotted with little challenges here and there. My purpose was an overnighter at Burnt lake and I was packing a 20 pound load. It rained the first day consistently which always presents trials but I did note that I did NOT need to bring 3 liters of water as there were plenty of small flowing water streams to filter from. Bring water-proof shoes if you are going in the rain as I must have walked through a couple of water flows that don't seem like they would be on the trail in drier seasons. The rhododendrons were in full bloom, lots of wild edibles but too late for fiddleheads as they were all opened and too early for blueberries and currents. found some edible corral mushrooms as well. The views coming back of Mt. Hood were stunning. This is a highly traveled and well taken care of trail. I would recommend it for sure.

Monday, June 20, 2016

very peaceful around the lake. parking gets full on nice days. trail is well marked. might be difficult for young kids

Sunday, March 20, 2016

It was tiring to walk though the snow, to reach the start of the trail. But overall it was a great experience and the view was beautiful.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Amazing. Such a clear day and mild weather. Took my dog, plenty of places along the trail for him to get drinks of water.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

this hike was very fun very exotic and we saw a lot of mushrooms i would actually rate this hike 4 and 1 half stars but u can't give them. the hike leads to a beautiful lake but if u want to see it you must be prepared well i would rate this hike hard and fun!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Such a pretty little hike! The road to the trail was a little hard on our rental car but worth it. The trail starts out fairly easy and gets more challenging after the first mile. The topography changes enough to keep it interesting and you get a great view of Mt. Hood about halfway. The lake is pretty and the is a nice little spot to sit under a tree and have a snack before you head back if you are not going to swim.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Very strenuous and beautiful hike. There are mushrooms everywhere, but I would not pick them. They are really cool looking, though. The trail is dry, but the forest is wet. I would come to this trail prepared.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Did this trail for the first time today, Saturday, June 6. Like everyone else has mentioned, potholes on last 1.4 miles leading to trailhead are treacherous. I drive a Prius which has a very low clearance, so I was stressed out the entire way. Once we got on the trail, everything was perfect. Trail parking was full, but we didn't see that many people while we were out. Maybe 10-12 total. My dog was quite sensitive to the wildlife and we found out from a fellow hiker that he'd spooked an owl in a tree. We never saw the owl, but the fellow hiker did. Watched him for a long time, and then when my dog ran up to the base of the tree, the owl apparently flew away. I was bummed we missed seeing it, but we heard it hoot a couple of times not even 2 minutes later. Gorgeous day today, and we started the trail around 1pm. We were back at the car by 5, and that included a few stops along the way.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

My daughter (25) and I hiked this trail on Friday, June 5th, 2015. It was a beautiful day. We left Portland at 8:30 AM and we're back home at 3:30 PM. We met eight other parties on the trail, which surprised me for a Friday. The trail was in great shape. The view from the top of Zigzag Mt. made a very nice lunch spot. As previously mentioned in another posting, the potholes in the Forest Service road were quite challenging. Our Subaru made it easily, but the traveling on the last stretch of road was slow going.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The potholes on the road to the trailhead are ready to be a tourist attraction, but once you get there, this is an excellent trail. The first third is a long and fairly flat segment -- your chance to focus on the flora -- while the rest is a series of steep climbs whose payoffs are so nicely spaced that they're worth the trouble: first a waterfall, then Burnt Lake, and finally the summit of E Zigzag Mountain. (Tip, if you're exhausted when you reach the ridgeline of Zigzag Mountain, feel free to skip the rocky scramble absolute summit; you've already gotten most of the view payoff.) Notice how conifers grow more diverse as you climb in this part of the world. Can you count the 10 or so species along the way?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hiked in last Friday and camped overnight, hiked out on Saturday morning. The trail was well maintained, very easy beginning, steeper the last mile, but not difficult. Few people on Friday and overnight but there were close to twenty hiking up Saturday morning, some looking to score a campsite of which there aren't many. The campsites on the far side of the lake are more open with space for multiple tents. Filter able water is easy to access from a small creek entering the lake where it crosses the around the lake trail. On the way back to the trailhead we took the short side trail down to a waterfall which offered the best view on the hike save for one of the mountain when it was released from clouds for a few minutes. As someone else commented the road from Lost Creek Campground to the trailhead was very rough with deep holes, ruts, and jagged rocks. If we did not have a 4x4 or other truck we would have parked at the campground and hike the extra mile each way saving wear on tires and vehicle. Also, parking at trailhead is very limited. All said this is a hike well worth taking.

Friday, June 07, 2013

This is an amazing hike. The lake at the top was worth the uphill treck.

Monday, August 01, 2011

This was a very nice trail that was ended up with a loop around a pretty lake that had a great view of mount hood. i notice some people were camping and fly fishing around the lake which is something I'm looking forward to doing. The one downside is the last part of the road to the trailhead was filled with pretty big potholes that were hard to avoid at places. I was very glad I did the hike and would highly recommend it.

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