Hike 31
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Zig Zag Canyon Overlook Hike
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Map of the Zig Zag Canyon Overlook Hike

Length: 4.6 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 500' loss then 500' gain to return
Season: Summer thru late Fall
Difficulty:   Moderate
Permit:   Snow Park Pass Required in Winter


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

This wonderful little hike begins a the Timberline Lodge parking lot. Just walk uphill on the paved service road to the east of the lodge to the sign marked Pacific Crest Trail. Bear left at this point and follow the trail west through the Mt Hood Ski Area. After about a half mile, you will be out of the ski area and surrounded by lots of extreme scenery.

The trail wanders up and down through small valleys with snow fed streams. In season the trail is lined with large amounts of Lupine, Paintbrush, and Asters. With frequent views of Mt Hood, and Mt Jefferson to the south, you will never run out of vistas to enjoy.

At about a mile you need to sign in as you will now enter the Mt Hood Wilderness. Soon you come to the junction of the trail to Hidden Lake far below you. The trail then enters more of a timbered area and does a few small switchbacks as you descend to your goal.

The last few hundred yards is a bit uphill as you climb out of one of the snow fed valleys and reach the saddle that makes what we call the Zig Zag Canyon Overlook. If you walk just a bit further, you will find another excellent vantage point where lots of photos are in order before you begin your climb back up to Timberline Lodge and that comfy vehicle that brought you here.

Zig Zag Canyon as seen from the overlook
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

Follow US 26 to Government Camp. Turn north on Road 50 to Timberline Lodge. Park in the designated parking area when you arrive. The trails are located behind the lodge and up a paved service road about a couple hundred yards.

Note: This is the same trailhead for the Timberline Trail, the Paradise Park Loop hike, and the East Zig Zag Overlook Hike.

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