Mt Hood alpine lake for trout

PhoFish

Member
Hello, I want to go to Mt Hood tomorrow to try and catch my first trout in an alpine lake. I need a lake that I can get to either the trailhead or to the lake itself with a passenger vehicle (Civic) - Any help would be appreciated and Thank you in advance!

Looking at Burnt Lake on google maps satellite - I think its paved most of the way until possibly muddy fork road?
 
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PhoFish

Member
Well if anyone is wondering, the road is paved most of the way to Burnt Lake. The last mile of muddy fork road is small gravel - I took it slow in my civic and only scraped the bottom on a few potholes, not too bad.

Nice hike up - a bit longer than I expected and the lake - well that was smaller than I expected... but the cutthroat were biting. Caught 7 total - mostly small between 6-10 inches and one that was 12 inches that is in my fridge as we speak.

Thank you everyone for the help!
 

bass

Most Featured
Nice! How hard was it to fish (how was the bank access)?

The hike looks long on Google Maps! I measured it and I am sure I did a lot of rounding off and it came out to 3.63 miles one way. I can believe it is at least 4 miles if you get all the twists and turns. Not many folks are going to make that hike!
 

PhoFish

Member
Fishing was more limiting than I was expecting - having never been to a Mt Hood lake before. There were 6-10 spots located at small clearings around the lake, however, some of those clearings - in particular a nice spot to the left of where the trail dumps you at the lake... have camps right behind them and surprisingly enough, the campers are not very quiet and even like to swim?! :)

I was VERY impressed with how clean the trail and the camp area was.. I have seen some serious signs of nature abuse since ive been here, sad - it so beautiful in Oregon.

I did not get lost (used All Trails map) and recorded the following stats:
Total out and back length: 8.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,470 Feet
Avg Pace: 25:33 /mile
Total Time (including rests) 3 hours 48 mins of hiking.
(This includes the trail that goes around the lake - which really you have to walk anyhow. I missed un-pausing as I moved from one spot on the far side of the lake and moved to the more productive rock formation.)

The hike was nice through the forest - a bit muddy in spots (easily avoidable), small river crossings on rocks, and the river actually runs down part of the trail. Since all the water was so low I assume, I was able to make the hike in regular shoes and my feet did not get wet.

Just a heads up: I arrived at the lake around 11 (got to the trailhead at 8:45 or so) and there was only 1 small family camping (3 groups passed me with camping gear on the way up the mountain). When I left at 1:15 there were 2 families and I hiked by 5 more groups of campers on their way up the mountain... though I think there may be more camping up ZigZag trail.

I did not expect to see so many people on a Wednesday.
 

bass

Most Featured
Wow! That is a crazy amount of people for a weekday! I am surprised that there were that many campers. Especially for a decent trek in.

I wonder if COVID has something to do with the crowds. Fewer long trips and camping is a really cheap vacation if you already have the gear.

It sure seems like the river and especially the shores of the Willamette are a lot more crowded than in past years.

I figured I was well under with making little straight line approximations of the relatively strait line trail on Google maps. Looks like I had about a 20% error. That is good to keep in mind if I am looking for spots in the future :) I looked at the Alltrails app. That looks really cool for doing those hikes.

Thanks again for all the info @PhoFish !
 
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