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.

Still Creek Trail

Still Creek Cheat Sheet

Hiking Distance: 3.2 Miles
Elevation Gain: 300′
Difficulty: Easy
Traffic: Light
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Kid-Friendly: Yes
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Parking Fee: None
Bathrooms: Pit toilets at campground
Features: Old-growth Forest, Creek, Solitude
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 49 Miles

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This little-known hike is a lovely and quiet stroll through an old-growth forest. It is a great choice of you have kids or if you want to take a walk in nature without pushing yourself too hard.

You’ll walk along Camp Creek only briefly at the beginning of the hike and Still Creek briefly at the turnaround point, but can hear rushing water often throughout the hike. There aren’t any fancy views or waterfalls, but the quiet and solitude of this hike make it feel special.

After hiking for about a mile and a half you’ll reach a road. Cross the road and walk down to the creek for a nice place to sit or have a picnic. This is your turnaround point.

Here’s a link to the Still Creek Trail Map.

Notes for getting there: The Still Creek Trail can be tricky to find. It begins at the Camp Creek Campground, which is 22.4 miles east of Sandy, off of U.S. Hwy 26. If heading east, the campground sign will be on your right. After pulling off of 26 into the campground, take a left at the first fork and a right at the second. Park across the road from the pedestrian bridge.

Here’s a link to the Still Creek trailhead location.