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Zigzag Mountain is a steep climb that follows the long ridgeline of this mountain providing spectacular 360-degree views

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Point to Point

5,072' 1,546 m


1,547' 472 m


5,393' 1,644 m


1,871' 570 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (26°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Zigzag Mountain Trail in the higher elevations is covered in snow till late June or mid-July, especially in north facing sections above Cast Lake and towards Paradise Park. The trail has little to no water sources along the trail so pack plenty of water.


Zigzag Mountain and this trail traverse the west half of the Mt. Hood Wilderness. The trail begins at the west end of the Road 19 Trail on Forest Road 1819 (East Mountain Drive) and ends at Paradise Park Trail #778. Zigzag Mountain Trail is a mostly moderately wide singletrack trail with the occasional rocky sections. Trail traffic is typically light to moderate with the most traffic seen from Devil’s Tie Trail #767 to Horseshoe Ridge #774.

Leaving from Forest Road 1819 (1,600’), the trail climbs steadily with 16 steep switchbacks over the first 1.5 miles before reaching the lower ridgeline of Zigzag Mountain (2770'). The trail continues climbing to 4500' at mile 4. Here you start seeing the spectacular views when you break out of the trees onto the rocky outcrops along the ridgeline. The trail switches between the north and south side of the ridge giving you views to Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier on the north side, and Mt. Jefferson, and Three Sisters on the south side. Of course Mt. Hood looms to the east in front of you as you hike along the ridgeline. Another 1/2 mile (MP 4.5) and you reach the intersection with West Zigzag Mountain Trail #789 on your right (south).

The trail then continues through the forest to around mile 6, when it breaks out into a series of openings and comes to Horseshoe Ridge Trail #774 on your left (north). This section of trail is part of a popular equestrian loop with Horseshoe and Cast Creek Trail #773 and has lots of ridgeline views in the openings. The trail then drops to just before mile 8, at Devil's Tie Trail #767 on your right (south). Continue another 0.2 miles to the Cast Lake Trail #796 on your left (north). The junction is angling behind you and easy to miss if you are not watching. Another short distance brings you to Cast Creek Trail #773. From here, you climb to west for 0.7 mile passing the remains of Zigzag East Lookout. At mile 8.9 you descend to a junction on your right with Burnt Lake Trail #772 heading south. In 0.3 miles you pass the second junction with Burnt Lake Trail #772 heading north on your left.

From here the trail continues east climbing, dropping, and then climbing again 2.9 miles to its end at Paradise Park Trail #778 (5,040’). There are few reliable sources for water along this trail, so be sure to carry enough water. There are many trails intersecting this trail that make interesting additions to an out-and-back route or a point-to-point shuttle.

Flora & Fauna

This trail provides you a wide variety over its 3500 foot change in elevation. Lower elevations feature large Douglas fir and western hemlock with oxalis, Oregon grape, salal and rhododendrons. Higher elevations feature mountain hemlock, silver fir, noble fir, and a ground cover of bear grass and kinnikinnick. Rocky openings feature Indian paintbrush, penstemon, lupine, and a variety of other subalpine blooms.


Shared By:

Kathleen Walker

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  3.5 from 4 votes
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The Zigzag Mountain Trail travels near the site of an old fire lookout. Photo by Jerry Adams.
Feb 24, 2017 near Governm…, OR
You'll get a great view of three Cascade peaks from the Zigzag Mountain Trail. L to R: Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, and Mount Adams. Photo by Yunkette.
Jan 25, 2017 near Governm…, OR
Wildflowers bloom on the Zigzag Mountain Trail #775. Blooms are best in late June and July. Photo by Yunkette.
Jan 25, 2017 near Governm…, OR
The huckleberry-picking on Zigzag Mountain Trail #775 can be phenomenal. Photo by Yunkette.
Jan 25, 2017 near Governm…, OR
The Zigzag Mountain Trail #775 offers a beautiful view looking down onto Cast Lake. Photo by Yunkette.
Jan 25, 2017 near Governm…, OR
Great view of Hood from shortly before the Devil's Tie Trail.
Jul 10, 2021 near Governm…, OR



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Sep 12, 2021
Peder Bisbjerg
I did the eastern portion of this trail as part of a loop past Burn Lake to Mississippi Head and back to the Ramona Falls TH. The trail is overgrow 20.7mi — 11h 30m
Jul 9, 2021
Karl W
Did the clockwise loop from west Zigzag to Burnt Lake. Tons of blowdown, but cut some out. No snow left anywhere.
Jun 19, 2021
Evan Griffiths
zigzag trail from Horshoe trail junction to Cast Creek trail has quite a bit of snow.also LOTS of blowdown on trail, detours constant 9mi — 3h 00m
Jul 14, 2020
Michael Young
Aug 12, 2018
Austin Bates
Jun 25, 2018
Brock Strom
Went 6 miles in and had to turn around as we were running out of time. At mile 5 you have an amazing view of Mt. Hood. 12mi
Jun 14, 2018
Kalen Walkington
Aug 21, 2017
Angie Harrison

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