Burnt Lake Trail to East Zigzag Summit

As it has been getting warmer, Alex and I decided it was time to hike at a higher elevation, hoping there would not be much snow. We chose to hike near Mount Hood, starting from the North Burnt Lake Trailhead, this past Saturday (22 June 2013). (This hike requires a Northwest Forest Pass). It was a splendid day to hike, not too hot, not too cold. The trail is mostly in the forest, a beautiful forest with Doug-fir and Western Hemlock, and higher up, Pacific Silver Fir (I believe). At this time of the year, there were many wildflowers.

At the start of the hike, there was a sign indicating entrance into a Wilderness.

Erin and Sign
Alex and I have been trying to learn how to identify trees, and we were baffled by what we learned were Western Hemlock trees. I took a picture of the bark and needles, and we took a cone home to identify. I hope we I.D.ed correctly! By the way, the Western Hemlock is Washington State’s official tree!!!

Western Hemlock Bark Western Hemlock Needles
Along the way, there were lots of huge snags, some all burnt up (perhaps this area has frequent wildfires, hence Burnt Lake??).

Red Snag

Tall Burnt Snag

We saw these three trees growing together.

Three Trees

Along with the trees, I was very interested in the plants and wildflowers along the trail. I am not familiar with the names of all of them, but I will try to accurately label the ones I think I know.

Unknown 1

Unknown 1

Salmonberry Flower

Salmonberry Flower

Bleeding Heart and Unknown 2

Bleeding Heart and Unknown 2

The first glimpse of Mt. Hood

Paintbrush & Mt. Hood

Phlox

Phlox

Larkspur and Unknown 3

Larkspur and Unknown 3

White Fawn Lily

White Fawn Lily

Trillium

Trillium

Or, if you prefer, "Rhodie" or "Rhodododo".

Rhododendron. Or, if you prefer, “Rhodie” or “Rhodododo”.

Thimbleberry Flower

Thimbleberry Flower

Unknown 4

Unknown 4

Unknown 5

Unknown 5

And bug.

And bug.

By the way, if you are thinking that you want to high five a salmonberry leaf, make certain it is not a devil's club leaf before carrying out your action.

By the way, if you are thinking that you want to high five a salmonberry leaf, make certain it is not a devil’s club leaf before carrying out your action.

Along the trail, there were a few creek crossings. A couple of them were quite tricky for someone who hasn’t forded many creeks yet. There were, however, some delightful bridges in some areas.

For my non-waterproof shoes, I preferred crossing this creek on the broken log. It was a well-used way of doing so.

For my non-waterproof shoes, I preferred crossing this creek on the broken log. It was a well-used way of doing so.

This is an example of a delightful bridge.

This is an example of a delightful bridge.

And now, for the reward of hiking 2000 ft up and 4.7 miles along: views of snowy Cascade peaks, most prominently Mount “Hoodington”.

Mount Jefferson off in the distance. My camera lens cannot zoom, so the size should be fairly representative of what the human eye perceives.

Mount Jefferson off in the distance. My camera lens cannot zoom, so the size should be fairly representative of what the human eye perceives.

Mount Adams was visible to the north. As was Mt. St. Helens. I didn't get a good picture of Helens, as I was getting bugged out.

Mount Adams was visible to the north. As was Mt. St. Helens. I didn’t get a good picture of Helens, as I was getting bugged out.

WOW!!! Mount Hood and Burnt Lake.

WOW!!! Mount Hood and Burnt Lake.

Mt Hood!!!

Mt Hood!!!

The hike back would have been pleasant, as the grade was very comfortable, but Alex and I were getting hungry and we had eaten all our snacks. Despite this, we had a great time. I would do this hike again, BUT! on a day when perhaps there wouldn’t be as many people camping near Burnt Lake.

Thank you for reading. What are you waiting for? Get hiking!

Goodbye!

Goodbye!

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