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.
Only 400 feet of elevation separate Spruce Grove Camp and Mount Zion, which is crossed over 1.5 miles on a smooth ascent. While Upper Zion Trail spares you the tough climb that you would expect to find on a summit hike, the trail still delivers a superb passage through an evergreen forest, capped with a scenic overlook at the top.
Upper Zion Trail begins with two important junctions. On Gabrielino Trail just above Spruce Grove, 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 the connector trail, make a left onto Upper Zion Trail. Signs are posted at both junctions.
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.
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)
|Lower Zion Trail |
The trail from Hoegees 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.
|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 3.25-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.
|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.
|Dawn Mine |
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.
|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.