Burnt Lake

Burnt Lake Cheat Sheet

Hiking Distance: 6.8 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1420′
Difficulty: Moderate
Traffic: Heavy
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Kid-Friendly: No (some difficult water crossings, one short ridge)
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Parking Fee: NW Forest Pass
Bathrooms: One porta-potty
Features: Wildlife, streams, lake, views of Mt. Hood’s peak
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 53 Miles

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You’ll start this hike by filling out a hiking permit at the trailhead. Make sure you carry your stub with you in case you get stopped by a ranger!

The forest on the trail to Burnt lake has a very special feel to it. I noticed it on my way in, and on the way back three separate hikers mentioned it to me as they walked beaming through the woods, saying things like “My, this is lovely!” and “Isn’t this just so nice?!” So be sure to connect with that feeling during the early part of your hike.

I recommend wearing boots or waterproof shoes since there are many areas where a stream crosses or covers the path. I went in early August and there was lots of water so I’m sure there’s much more during rainier seasons. There’s also one creek you’ll need to cross either by balancing on a fallen log or trudging through with waterproof shoes.

In the intro, I put that it’s not a great hike for kids, but that depends on your kids. If they can handle the streams/creeks, one ridge, and an almost 7 mile hike, then it might be really fun. The elevation gain is gradual and the lake is a huge payoff. You can do a loop around the crystal clear lake while looking for wildlife. I saw an otter!

Notes for getting there: I’d recommend using these GPS coordinates. Once you cross the bridge you’ll travel another 2 miles on a paved road until you reach Lost Creek Campground. Go left here and stay on the gravel road another 1.3 miles.

Silver Falls Trail of Ten Falls


Hiking Distance: 2 – 8 Miles. Short loops make it easy to choose your own adventure.
Elevation Gain: ~ 500′
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Traffic: Heavy
Trail Type: Loop
Kid-Friendly: Yes
Dogs Allowed:  Kind of. They’re allowed on Rim Trail, Bike Path and Perimeter Trail but prohibited on all other trails including the Canyon Trail where most of the waterfalls are found.
Bikes Allowed: Yes. A four-mile paved bike path starts from the overnight campground and follows Silver Creek to South Falls Lodge.
Horses Allowed: Yes
Parking Fee: $5 (exact change needed)
Bathrooms: Yes. Near South Falls Day-Use Area.
Features: Waterfalls, canyon, giant anthills
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 58 Miles

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Thank you Teddy Roosevelt for this gem of a park! I categorized this hike as Santiam State Forest, though it’s technically a separate state park in the same area of Oregon as Santiam.

And what a lovely hike it is. You can catch more waterfalls in this hike than you could if you spent the same amount of time in the Multnomah Falls area. The terrain is rolling and not too strenuous. If you take your time pausing at all the falls and exploring every nook and cranny of the park, you can spend most of the day wandering around.

These Silver Falls photos say more about the hike than I ever could, so I’ll let you peruse them instead of blathering on. This is a very busy hike, so try to aim for weekdays or even winter weekdays if you don’t love a packed trail.

For more info, check out the Silver Falls trail map and guide.