Hiking Mt. Zion

Hiking Mt. Zion

There are a bunch of nice hikes in the San Gabriel mountains, just 15 minutes drive from Caltech. Over winter break, I hiked the Mt. Zion trail via Lower Winter Creek Trail (this one). The trail is 9.6 miles long and has an elevation gain of 2,100 ft, and it took us about 5 hours to hike.

Both me and my boyfriend recently got new hiking shoes, so we took a photo just before we started to break them in :P Too bad we didn’t take an after photo though – they became all gray from the dust on the trail!

The trail actually starts off with a steep descent from Chantry Flats to Lower Winter Creek Trail. It was definitely smart to start this way – I wouldn’t want to hike up that steep slope after a long hike.

We made a small detour (0.5 mile) to Sturtevant Falls, which is a 50 foot waterfall into a small pond. (Sorry about the rotated photo, for some reason I can’t save the post after rotating the photo).

Continuing on the hike, we went through some amazing forests where the leaves were a mix of yellow, orange, and green. It was spectacularly pretty. I would love to come here again.

The trail also passes by Sturtevant Camp, which surprised me. I’d actually passed through the same camp, although going on a different hike, 3 years ago on a house event! At the very top, we got a nice view of the surroundings :) We also saw a bunch of acorns on the ground, with their caps and nuts separated, which was pretty interesting.

On the way down, the Upper Winter Creek trail follows the side of the mountain and you constantly get a view of the surrounding mountains. It’s very different from the forested first half of the hike! Overall, I thought this was a really nice hike. Not too long, moderately strenuous, and beautiful!