Hiking Project Logo

blue Mt. Zion Loop

  4.4 ( 5 )

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store


9.3 mile 14.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 2,232' 680 m
Descent: -2,189' -667 m
High: 3,563' 1,086 m
Low: 1,802' 549 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 37% (20°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store


Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

All Clear 17 days ago See History
Dry, Mostly Dry, Some Mud

Popular hikes nearby

Hiked this trail?

Add details to help others plan their adventure.

Shaded oak and spruce forests plus a waterfall make this a great all-around, intermediate hike for nature lovers.

Ryan W

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked

Family Friendly A manageable loop with majestic views of Sturtevant Falls and views of the canyon below.

An Adventure Pass is required to park.


Shaded Riparian forests with a 50-foot waterfall that gently winds up and over the canopy for expansive chaparral and mountain views.

Need to Know

Sturtevant Falls is worth the short out-and-back on a spur trail. This 50-foot waterfall gushes in heavy winter rains. THIS TRAIL AND THE PARKING GETS VERY CROWDED ON WEEKENDS.

The upper portion of this trail is somewhat exposed. Bring appropriate sun protection.


This is a great hike, also called the Santa Anita Loop. It can be broken into shorter loops for small kids or extended into a serious day hike to Mt. Wilson.

Hike down the paved road to the bridge junction and keep right to the Gabrielino Trail (NRT) 11W14. Follow the creek a mile or so until you come to the next junction. Keep right for a short out-and-back to Sturtevant Falls.

Head back the way you came for about a quarter mile and take the Gabrielino Trail (NRT) 11W14 to the right. This takes you above the falls for a look down below. Continue on past the Cascade Picnic Area and Spruce Grove Campground. Turn left at the signed trail junction and take the Sturtevant Trail #11W16 towards Sturtevant Camp.

Across from Sturtevant Camp, off to the left, is a junction with the slightly hidden Zion Trail #11W17. From here you can continue on Sturtevant Trail #11W16 which will take you to Mt. Wilson in 3 miles. This particular loop takes you about a mile up the Zion Trail #11W17 where you keep left to the Mount Zion Summit Spur. Take in the views and double back.

Continue left on Zion Trail #11W17 which drops down to Winter Creek and a junction with the Lower Winter Creek Trail #11W15. It is the same distance back to Chantry Flat either way from here. Turning left takes you down the canyon but you have to climb that dreadful paved road back UP to the parking lot. Turn right and you soon reach a junction with the Upper Winter Creek Trail #11W23. Keep left and this takes you back to the parking lot.

Flora & Fauna

Bay, oak, maple and alder trees provide ample shade in canyon bottoms and north facing slopes. Watch for rare madrone trees on the Upper Winter Creek Trail #11W23. Monkey flowers usually prolific on sunny slopes in June. Deer and sometimes bear can be spotted early or late in the day. Watch for abundant poison oak.

History & Background

Along this trail are a few remaining cabins from the early 1900's. At one time, this area of the San Gabriel Mountains was a vacation hot spot until storms in the 1930's destroyed most of the buildings. These cabins are private. Please do not trespass.


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Apr 1, 2019
Troy Blischok
i cut through the lower winter trail so i didn't complete the loop according to this publication. regardless, what i completed was in good shape. 9mi
Mar 15, 2019
Lance Nichols
9.7mi — 3h 15m
Mar 11, 2019
Damien Sutevski
9.3mi — 5h 00m
Mar 1, 2019
Lance Nichols
9.8mi — 2h 54m
Feb 24, 2019
Nicole Zur
Feb 23, 2019
Brandon S
Dec 27, 2014
Chris Joe
Jun 20, 2013
Ryan W
Walked around Sturtevant Camp a lot. 11mi — 5h 27m

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes


  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in California


94 Views Last Month
595 Since Sep 10, 2018
Intermediate Intermediate

You can get an Adventure Pass at the general store nearby (you can park beforehand). You can also valet at the general store for $20. The general parking area and parking on the road leading up to the trailhead were mostly packed by 8:30am on a March Sunday, so keep that in mind. Mar 11, 2019

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking