Travel on Highway 26 about 1.5 miles East of Rhododendron. Turn North onto '27 Road'. Go 5.2 miles until the road deadends at the trailhead.
This hike starts out winding through old growth forests, clearings with huckleberries bushes, groves of blue spruce, and into the near timberline zone of sparse vegetation.
The scenery is average for the Mt. Hood area. Until about 4 miles into the hike. That's when the trail crests the ridge where the Burnt Lake Trail meets the Zigzag Mt. Trail. And that is where you get your first view of Mt. Hood. And 700 feet below is Burnt Lake.
At this point the trail turns to the left and climbs the last 200 feet to the summit of East Zigzag Mountain where the Zigzag East Lookout used to be.
The view from the summit includes several of the Cascade peaks. It's a great place for a lunch break.
For the return trip continue to the west, following the trail down the ridge to the intersection with Cast Creek Trail. Turn to the south and follow the Zigzag Mt. Trail until it reconnects with the Burnt Lake Trail. From there it's an easy stroll back to the trailhead.
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Anyone know if there's good camping at Burnt Lake?