Hiking near Mt. Hood to Burnt Lake and then up to Mt. Zigzag's East Lookout, August, 2010

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

This hike was particularly fun because it had a mixture of environments, trail types, and lots of payoff. The hike to Burnt Lake rambles through lush, green forest, following Lost Creek for several miles. As advertised, the area was burned many years ago and there are still husks of giant cedars with burned-out cores that you can stand in. Although the trail climbs all the time, it's a gradual elevation gain, with lots of little creek crossings to keep me occupied.

The out-and-back trail - 9.3 miles
Elevation Profile: "only" two Empire State Buildings today

I was mostly alone on the trail today and my hiking stick thudded each step up to the lake. According to my hiking books, this lake is pretty popular, but I was the only person there this morning. It was great, so peaceful. I watched birds dive-bomb for bugs and listened to the occasional splash of a frog. The lake is surrounded by campsites (maybe six of them?) and they looked very inviting. But Mt. Zigzag was beckoning me!

here we go!

looks like a giant dropped that stump!

Burnt Lake

very serene

Hiking up to the east lookout of Mt. Zigzag was a bit more challenging, but still do-able and lots of fun. The bear grass was blooming, as were many other wildflowers. I saw salmonberries and huckleberries, too.

sunny day for a hike

bear grass shoots

blooms on the

neat red flower

Once I scrambled the last few feet up the hill to the summit, I was amazed how close Mt. Hood seemed to be! I could also spy Mt. Rainier and Mt. Jefferson in the distance. There was a beautiful meadow filled with flowers and soft grass to have lunch on, and I spent a long time there thinking and admiring the view. The day had been rainy when I started out in Portland but by the time I got to the trailhead, the sun was out and the skies were clear. The weather was mid-60's, which is good uphill-hiking weather. I had full-on sunshine at the summit, but a nice breeze kept me from getting hot. Two crows kept me company and it was nice to watch them soar in the winds. I hated to leave!

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Hood, leaning close to me today

see Burnt Lake way
down there?

path at the summit

Heading back out was a bit easier, and not too hard on the knees, either. I passed lots of people headed uphill, and was glad that I started the hike when I did.

great place for a picnic

watch your step here!

back at the lake

tree stump nursery!

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