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 get to the trailhead: Take the 210 east through Pasadena to Arcadia. Exit Santa Anita and head north. Go up the mountain for 5 miles until the road ends at Chantry Flats. Display your National Forest adventure pass and park your car in the lot.
Trailhead address: Chantry Flats Road, Angeles National Forest, Arcadia, CA 91006
Trailhead coordinates: 34.195515, -118.022503 (34° 11′ 43.85″N 118° 01′ 21.01″W)
|Upper Zion Trail|
The trail from Spruce Grove Camp up Mount Zion is 1.5 miles long.
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.
This 3.25-mile hike visits a 60-foot waterfall and a lush cottage-lined canyon.
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.
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.
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.