This trail enters the Mt. Hood Wilderness on the west side of Mount Hood. This trail accesses Burnt Lake and Zigzag Mountain with views above treeline. The north side also has wonderful old cedar snags showing remnants of a wildfire that came through around 1900.
Starting from the north Burnt Lake trailhead, this trail begins at Forest Road 1825-109 (2,680’) and ends at Forest Road 2627-207 (3,320’). From Forest Road 1825-109, the trail climbs steadily up to Burnt Lake (4,120’). There is a nice loop trail around the lake accessing several campsites. From the lake the trail continues up a steep climb 0.6 mile and reaches Zigzag Ridge (4,720’). Soon after, the trail reaches Zigzag Mountain Trail #775. Turn right onto Zigzag Mountain Trail #775 and follow the ridge westward 0.3 miles until Burnt Lake Trail #772 drops over the south side of the ridge descending to Devil’s Meadow area. From Devil’s Meadow the trail follows an easier grade down an old roadway to West Zigzag trailhead at Forest Road 2627-207.
4 in our group, two of us were first time backpackers. This was a great intro to backpacking.
We went in May, so there was still snow, and the lake was so full it had flooded part of the trail, making the backside campsites inaccessible. Luckily we got a site near the entrance trail to the lake.
There is so much hiking and beauty in this area. We hiked to the top of ZigZag, and it was breathtaking.
There are multiple numbered sites around the lake. Once the trailhead pops you onto the water, you can either go east or west around the lake. Spots are marked with wooden numbered posts. Spots with letters are day sites with views.
I highly recommend this backpacking campsite to anyone who has explored around the Mt. Hood area. This is a hidden gem that I had never been to! There are plenty of hikes around this area and a handful of campsites that you can stay at if you aren't wanting to do a backpacking trip. This seriously is a hidden area that does not get very populated even during the summer months.
This campsite has about 8 different sites scattered around the lake. Take a walk around the lake first to find which one suites your needs and preferences. They all are great for families, groups, or just a single tent. All are relatively close to water and spaced out well enough you don't see or hear others around the lake.
It is 4 miles from the start of the trailhead to Burnt Lake where the campsites are located. If you put down your stuff at your site, you can do another 2 mile hike up the summit of East Zigzag Mt. and see a beautiful view of Mt. Hood.