Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

8/30/2014

Mt Zion

Filed under: — stan @ 2:43 pm

After doing a short ’shakedown’ hike last summer, I think I’m up for hiking more again. So today was the day. I met up with Karina and Kathy and we headed up to Chantry Flat. Karina knows a route from there that goes up Santa Anita Canyon, over the summit of Mt. Zion, and then back down another part of the canyon. And perhaps most importantly, since Santa Anita Canyon usually has a small stream flowing in it, most of the route was through forest, so there would be shade.

We tried to get an early start, since parking is very limited at Chantry Flat. We got up there before 8:00, but we still ended up having to park about 1/2 mile back down the road. Then we started out, walking back up to Chantry Flat, and starting down the trail, which began with about 1/2 mile downhill into the canyon. At the bottom, we saw where the stream should have been, had we not been in the middle of an epic drought here. What was supposed to be a flowing stream was just a stream bed, with occasional little pools. Most of the bed wasn’t even visibly damp. Which is why I thought the guy with the fishing pole was being perhaps a bit too optimistic. But he did find a fair-sized pool, although I’m not sure there were any fish in it.

We hiked a good way up the canyon, and then we turned and headed up the side of the canyon, toward Mt. Wilson. There was a little side trail that went up to the top of Mt Zion, which was nice. it was one of the few times we came out of the trees and got a view. After that, we went back to the trail junction and sat down in the shade to have our lunch.

The trail back switchbacked down the south face of Mt Zion. There were some spots where there was a view, which was nice, but it was also getting pretty hot by then. At the bottom of the canyon we came through Hoegees Campground, and a bit farther along, we saw a small cave in the rocks. I went in it a bit just to see how far it went. Finally, the trail came out back at the junction at the bottom of the canyon, below Chantry Flat. From there, we had to walk back up to the road, and then down the road to where we’d parked. In all, it was about 8 1/2 miles or so.

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