Mount Zion via Lower Zion Trail
in the San Gabriel Mountains
If you enjoy the 4.25-mile round trip hike to Hoegees Camp, press on to Mount Zion. This trail leaves the banks of Winter Creek for higher ground and panoramic views of Santa Anita Canyon. Less than a quarter mile above Hoegees Camp on Lower Winter Creek Trail, is a junction with Lower Zion Trail. Upper Winter Creek Trail continues straight ahead, returning to Chantry Flats, but if you turn right, the summit of Mount Zion is just 1 3/4 away.
Lower Zion Trail switches up the south face of Mount Zion, leaving the spruce-shaded forest for a chaparral-covered hillside. Wildflowers soak in the sun and grow in vibrant patches along the trail, making this a great spring hike. Blue dicks, larkspur, and phacelia are all in abundance. You will also be treated to views down Santa Anita Canyon toward the hazy (or smoggy) civilization below.
Push on up the trail as it ascends a thousand feet. This will get your thighs burning for sure, but then a trail runner will pass by and you will remember that it can’t be that steep.
At the top is a turnoff for a 1/4 mile track out to the summit. The views from the top aren’t much better than what you’ve seen along the trail already, but it would just feel wrong to bypass this little side trip to the summit.
To return, you may descend Lower Zion Trail back to Hoegees Camp, or take the Upper Zion Trail north along the ridge down to Spruce Grove Camp as part of the Santa Anita Canyon Loop.
Dogs are welcome on leashes. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for vehicles park at the Chantry Flats Trailhead. No permit is needed to hike to Mount Zion, so get out and enjoy!
To get to the trailhead: Take the 210 Freeway to Arcadia, east of Pasadena. Use exit 32 for Santa Anita Avenue and head north at the end of the offramp. Drive 5 miles up Santa Anita Avenue, going into the mountains. The road ends at Chantry Flats.
Trailhead address: Chantry Flats Road, Angeles National Forest, Arcadia, CA 91006
Trailhead coordinates: 34.1955, -118.0225 (34° 11′ 43.8″N 118° 01′ 21″W)
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Winter Creek Trail to Hoegees Camp
Lower Zion Trail from Hoegees Camp to Mount Zion
Upper Zion Trail from Spruce Grove Camp to Mount Zion
Gabrielino Trail to Spruce Grove Camp
|Upper Zion Trail |
The trail from Spruce Grove Camp up Mount Zion is 1.5 miles long.
|Hoegees Camp |
This 4.25-mile hike follows Lower Winter Creek Trail through a beautiful wooded canyon to a backcountry campground with fourteen first-come first-serve sites.
|Upper Winter Creek Trail |
This 2.75-mile long trail can be used to extend Santa Anita Canyon Loop or create a 4.85-mile loop with Lower Winter Creek Trail.
|Spruce Grove Camp |
This 8-mile in-and-out or 9.5-mile loop takes hikers beyond Sturtevant Falls to a backcountry campground with seven first-come first-serve sites.
|Sturtevant Falls |
This 3.3-mile hike visits a 60-foot waterfall and a lush cottage-lined canyon.
|Hermit Falls |
This 2.5-mile heads down canyon away from Sturtevant Falls toward a 30-foot waterfall. The lush canyon and the babbling creek are quite calming.
|Santa Anita Canyon Loop |
This 9.5-mile loop visits two peaceful creeks in sylvan canyons, passing a 60-foot waterfall and plenty of beautiful wilderness.
|More trails in the San Gabriel Mountains |
Explore other destinations in the range.
|Dawn Mine |
This 6-mile hike from Millard Campground leads past Millard Falls to an old gold mine.
|Fish Canyon Falls |
This 4.8-mile round trip hike leaves from an active rock quarry and progresses up a beautiful canyon to a mesmerizing multi-tiered waterfall.
|Mount Waterman |
The 5.5 to 6 miler can be completed as an out and back hike or a loop, traveling through a pine forest to a round summit. Add six miles to the hike by dropping across a saddle and climbing to the summit of Twin Peaks.
Go the extra miles...
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