The Mount Zion Loop is a gorgeous 9.5 mile loop located in the Angeles National Forest just North of Sierra Madre, California. It is best known for its lush green plant life, shaded canopy and serene beauty. However, it is also wildy underrated for being such a great running/hiking trail. Lets hit it!
From Chantry Flat Parking Lot, we will ascend "Chantry Flats Truck Trail" which is the paved road to the West of the Parking Area. After about half a mile, you will come to a single track trail junction with signage on the right of the road. This is Upper Winter Creek Trail. Take it!
Follow this moderately ascending trail until it tops out and begins to descend and after 2 miles, you will have made it to the next junction. Stay to the right (forest route 11W15) to descend a little further as ascending Upper Winter Creek Trail will take you to a much larger mountain. Yikes!
Just a quarter of a mile passed this sign is another junction where you will stay to the left (forest route 11W14) to ascend 1000 feet in a little over a mile.
Finally you will have finished climbing for the day. Near the top is an offshoot to the right. This leads roughly 500 ft. South to Mount Zion summit. We will rest here to wait for everyone to catch up.
Once the entire group is caught up, we will continue on the trail toward the opposite side of the mountain toward Sturtevant Trail (1 mile further). Catch the Sturtevant trail (Forest route 11W16) And stay to the RIGHT for a steady descent of a beautifully forested Sturtevant Falls trail.
You will see several trail junctions here, and the safest thing to do if you are not familiar with the multiple routes, is to stay with whichever trail keeps you to the lowest point in the canyon while following the obvious main trail.
After roughly 2 miles, you will find yourself at another wide open trail junction with lots of signage and a bridge. Cross the bridge and head to the left onto the Forest Road 2N40. Did I say you were done climbing? OOPS! One last 500 foot slog will bring you back to Chantry Flat Parking Area.
This is a mixed pace group effort, so come prepared and go at your own pace!
Terrain: Class 1 hiking path, Lots of marked signs.
Exposure: Mostly shaded
Difficulty: Intermediate (we are a fairly fast group).
Dog Friendly: Woof Woof!
Distance: 9 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,100 feet
Date: Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Time: 6:30 AM
I'm in! When is the next group run?!
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