East AND West Zigzag Mt…Loop
TOTAL MILES: 11.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2600 ft
PACE: “Moderate” (~2..0 mph)
DIFFICULTY RATING: Difficult due to Distance
ESTIMATED HIKING TIME: 5-6 hours
PERMITS: NW Forest Pass
CARPOOLING: RT mileage is 90 miles, give or take; we suggest a mileage donation of 10 cents/mile/person, or $9.00. Exact change makes it easier to divide among our drivers. No one will be turned away for an inability to contribute. Thanks!
The nice weather is holding so let’s pull out all the stops and tackle this wonderfully wooded mountain loop… but beautiful forests aren't all we will experience on this wilderness trek…as it starts off thru the lush forests and skirts Devils Meadow… at that point the accent becomes more serious and switchbacks to a breathtaking view of Mt Hood… we will follow the ridge line up another few hundred feet and reach a perfect spot for lunch…and the site of an old lookout….. after a break we will descend the ridge and head west on the Cast Creek Trail until we reach the Zigzag Mt Trail… the trail will then dip thru a saddle and climb rather steeply to a cliff side view overlooking Cast Lake… from this point the trail may be a bit brushy at times as we head for yet another dramatic cliff top site of the old West Zigzag lookout…. A short break here and it will be time to head downhill and complete this loop …ending up back at our vehicles….
NOTE: This is going to be a long day and a steady climb. Do not RSVP is you have early evening plans.
Note about my hiking style: I try to enjoy every hike while maintaining a slow but somewhat steady pace… usually at the end of the day my hikes average about 2- 2.25 mph regardless of terrain. It is never a race with me and I take time for brief layer and water breaks and I take pictures …mostly on the fly. I like to stay together as a group more or less… so if you are someone that needs to race up the hill or set records this is probably not the hike for you. Conversely if you need a lot of time to set up that perfect photo… of cant maintain a 2.0 MPH pace...there are probably other groups that will fit your style better as well. My goal is to provide a environment that everyone in the group can enjoy…while enjoying the amazing outdoors.
Please note that there is a MANUAL waiting list for this hike. What this means is that if a spot opens up everyone on the waiting list will automatically receive an e-mail notifying them of the opening. The first person (whether on the waiting list or not) to RSVP gets the spot.
NO DOGS, please.
What to bring:
• Sturdy hiking boots/shoes with at least one change of socks
• Two or three light layers of clothing that can be adjusted or removed as necessary (NO COTTON!!!)
• Rain gear
• Safety whistle, preferably on a cord around your neck (highly recommended)
• The 10 essentials*
• Trekking poles (never a bad idea)
• Lunch, snacks and plenty of water
*Navigation, Sun protection, Insulation, Illumination, First Aid, Fire, Repair Kit/Tools, Nutrition, Hydration, Emergency Shelter. For a more detailed description, check out “The Ten Essentials” on the Portland Hiking Meetup Group’s FILES page.