Home  •   Field Guide  •   Forums  •    Unread Posts  •   Maps  •   Find a Hike!
| Page | Discussion | View source | History | Print Friendly and PDF

Zigzag Overlook Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mount Hood and the massive Zigzag Canyon from the Zigzag Overlook (Tom Kloster)
Timberline Lodge (bobcat)
Dwarf mountain lupine (Lupinus lyallii) on the Mountaineer Trail (bobcat)
Rocky draw on Sand Canyon (bobcat)
Vast fields of lupine bloom along the trail in late summer (cfm)
The route to the overlook from Timberline Lodge (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo/MapBuilder Topo
  • Start point: Timberline Lodge TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • Ending Point: Zigzag Overlook
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 4.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 820 feet
  • High Point: 5,995 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Summer to early fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes

Contents

Description

The hike to the Zigzag Overlook from Timberline Lodge an easy outing that gives you a good feel for the alpine areas of Mount Hood's south side. This is a pleasant - but very popular - hike for visitors to Timberline Lodge who aren't into a major excursion. You'll pass across alpine and subalpine meadows to reach an overlook over the deeply gouged Zigzag River Canyon, with the craggy ramparts of Mount Hood always above.

From the parking area, walk west above the day lodge and continue through the parking lot for Timberline Lodge. After passing below the lodge's swimming pool, follow a maintenance road a short distance past the Magic Mile chair lift to a trail junction under the Jeff Flood-Still Creek chair lift. Keep straight here on the Mountaineer Trail #798. The path will take you into a subalpine woodland of mountain hemlock and subalpine fir, crossing a couple of small gullies to arrive at the Mountaineer-Timberline to Town Trail Junction. Stay straight (right) here, and rise under the Stormin’ Norman chair lift to cross the Kruser ski run and traverse through more mountain hemlock parklands. You'll pass a short spur to the site of the old Timberline Cabin, where a few broken pieces of the chimney remain, and soon reach the the four-way Timberline-Mountaineer Trail West Junction.

Turn left at the junction, and cross a draw blooming with partridge-foot before hiking into the small Sand Canyon. Then, at 1.2 miles, switchback into Little Zigzag Canyon. You'll arrive at a wilderness permit box and a map board. Pass the Mt. Hood Wilderness sign and descend in silver fir/mountain hemlock forest to reach the junction with the Hidden Lake Trail (No. 779). There is a campsite (but no drinking water) below the trail just before this junction. Soon, you'll cross a spring by the trail and can admire the lush meadow on the steep slope below. Descend into a deep, dry gully, head up its shady west side in mountain hemlock/silver fir woods and, at 2.2 miles, come to the Zigzag Overlook at the edge of Zigzag Canyon. The view includes the meadows of Paradise Park, the canyon itself, rugged Mississippi Head, and the mesa-like formation at the head of the canyon.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails: Mt. Hood, OR #462
  • Adventure Maps: Mt. Hood Area
  • Geo-Graphics: Mount Hood Wilderness Map
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest North
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Zigzag Ranger District
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood Wilderness
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Self-issued wilderness permit
  • Wilderness rules apply

Trip Reports

  • Search Trip Reports for Zigzag

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks

  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • Oregon: The Creaky Knees Guide by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan
  • Trips & Trails: Oregon by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon Favorites: Trails & Tales by William L. Sullivan
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 105 Virtual Hikes of the Mt. Hood National Forest by Northwest Hiker
  • Hikes & Walks on Mt. Hood by Sonia Buist & Emily Keller
  • Around & About Mount Hood by Sonia Buist & Emily Keller
  • Around Mt. Hood in Easy Stages by Sonia Buist & Emily Keller
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon's Columbia River Gorge: Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill

More Links


Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.