After hiking to Spruce Grove Camp above Sturtevant Falls, why not return to Chantry Flats by crossing over Mount Zion? The trail to Mount Zion passes along the east side of a ridge leading up to the summit. The grade is gentle, and after all the demanding switches beneath Spruce Grove, the trail feels surprisingly kind. There is only 400 feet of elevation gain over one and a half miles between Spruce Grove Camp and Mount Zion, making for a smooth ascent. While you are spared the climb you would expect to find on a summit trail, Upper Zion Trail still delivers a superb passage through an evergreen forest, capped with a scenic overlook at the top.
There are two important junctions to note along the trail. Just above Spruce Grove, you will come to a small junction beneath Sturtevant Camp. Leave the Gabrielino trail here and turn left on a hard-to-see path that crosses over an artificial dam. If you reach Sturtevant Camp, you missed the turnoff. After 1/8 of a mile on this connector, make a left on to Upper Zion Trail. There are signs posted in both places.
From Spruce Grove Camp, it is 1.5 miles to the summit of Zion. If you are returning to Chantry Flats, (and not camping overnight at Spruce Grove Trail Camp) it will be shorter to descend down Lower Zion Trail to Hoegees Camp and complete the Santa Anita Canyon Loop.
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)
|Lower Zion Trail|
The trail from Hoegees 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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Stunt High Trail to Saddle Peak|
This 7.5-mile hike combines Stunt High Trail and a section of the Backbone Trail to visit the 6th tallest summit in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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.