Burnt Lake Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,472' 449 m
Descent: -1,474' -449 m
High: 4,132' 1,260 m
Low: 2,694' 821 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
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“Most run lower Burnt Lake Trail #772 to the lake and back to see a serene mountain lake and a Mt. Hood view.”— Kathleen Walker
The first third of a mile of trail follows an overgrown logging road through an old timber sale unit with a forest cover of alder reclaiming the road. 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, each with small tributaries, 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 crossing a large creek drainage. The trail then skirts around a narrow, rocky section before approaching the lake.
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 brushy trail (Burnt Lake Loop Trail) that continues counter-clockwise around the southeast side of the lake accessing additional day use and campsites, one with a large rock outcropping.
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.
When the trail reconnects with Burnt Lake Trail #772 take a right to head back the way you came.
Runners 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.
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