Burnt Lake & East Zigzag

On Friday Greg and I arrived at the Burnt Lake trailhead at 1:00 and the morning clouds had thankfully started burning off. There were a dozen cars in the tiny parking area and we were the eighth Subaru there, which made me laugh!

After walking in the trees for several miles, it was nice to come out in the open a bit and get a glimpse of Mt. Hood behind us.

We reached the lake about 3:00 and made a beeline for day use area C, which has a great view of Mt. Hood. No reflections today, but the view is still fantastic.

We hung out for awhile eating snacks and enjoying the view. We heard crackling, smelled smoke, and heard a couple of guys laughing as campfire smoke billowed up from day use area D about 50 feet away. There are numerous signs telling you that this is not allowed, but I guess the rules don’t apply to these two. We wanted to go over and say something, but knew we’d only get a “f*** off” or a “mind your own business” for our troubles.

We pushed on to East Zigzag, which is another 1.5mi beyond Burnt Lake. The way up is mostly forested, until the last bit when you break out into the open and can see your goal ahead of you.

And off the right, the jaw-dropping view of lovely Mt. Hood, with Burnt Lake nestled in the forest below. This is now one of my new favorite views of the mountain. No burned trees, no clearcuts, no towns, no highways.

There were quite a few wildflowers on the slopes of the mountain as we climbed up.

The view at the top is a little obscured by trees, but you can still see Mt. Hood pretty well.

Distant clouds obscured the far-reaching views, but we could see the top of one snowy peak. I can’t tell if this is Mt. Adams or Mt. Rainier.

We could also see Bald Mountain, where we would be hiking the next day.

And McNeil Point.

With binoculars or the zoom lens we could just make out  the wheel houses for the top of the Magic Mile ski lift and the bottom of the Palmer ski lift.

The day was getting late and we had a long hike back to the car, so we reluctantly headed down.

We headed up to Government Camp and our favorite Mt. Hood eatery, the Ice Axe Grill, where we ate french fries, pizza, and good beer and watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics (with no sound). Yum!