Zigzag Mountain Road Trail - Nov 15, 2008

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pablo
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Zigzag Mountain Road Trail - Nov 15, 2008

Post by pablo » November 15th, 2008, 11:43 pm

Let me preface this report by saying all of the trails mentioned here are use trails, maintained by who knows, and are not part of the MHNF trail inventory. IMO, the main trail (blue in map below) should be part of the inventory as it provides Enola-Hill-free access to east Zigzag Mtn trails.

It took 3 tries but I believe I've mapped all the trails in and around the eastern end of Forest Rd 35a including a trail I'm calling the 'Zigzag Mtn Rd Trail' that I first ran into here and explored again here. While the first couple of trips to this area were at the end of other hiking destinations so time limited the amount of trail I could cover, this trip was dedicated to mapping the existing trail network around 35a to Zigzag Mtn Rd.

Here's the final map:

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There are 2 trailheads from the FR 35a Rd, one at the end of the road giving access to the Viewpoint Trail (in red on the map above) and another further west just north and across the road from the lot 46/48 marker giving access to the Zigzag Mtn Rd Trail (in blue). Parking at the latter trailhead looks to be a problem, I'd use the end of the 35a rd as there is a lot more space for parking. The Viewpoint Connector Trail (in green) is much like a game trail in spots but never loses its sense of purpose. Its been sawed out but be advised that it can be hard to follow at times. The Viewpoint Loop Trail goes to a nice open rock bluff with views of the valley and Hood. There is some exposure at the viewpoint and at one point the rock bluff has an abrupt drop-off about 150' directly into Zigzag River.

I'd say the best route to the Zigzag Mtn Rd Trail, with the caution about the connector trail, would be to take the eastern part of the Viewpoint Loop Rrail to the catch the Viewpoint Connector Trail then on to the intersection with the trail to Zigzag Mtn Rd. The Viewpoint Connector Trail takes off north from the Viewpoint Trail right across from a crude log shelter and would be easily missed if you didn't know the trail was there.

Here's the shelter just south of the Viewpoint Loop Trail:

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The trail takes off to the north, this photo is looking east, the corner of the shelter is on the right, there is a log on the left with a space cut out at the far end where the connector trail takes off. The loop trail runs down the middle of the photo.

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On the connector trail looking east, there's a log across the trail but in general the trail is quite clear, although faint at times.

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At the intersection of the connector and the Zigzag Mtn Trail is a marker, the lettering painstakingly made by pounding nails into the marker. This side of the marker says "Viewpoint Trail .5"

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The other side marks the direction of the Zigzag Mtn Rd Trail.

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Once on the much easier to follow Zigzag Mtn Rd Trail, there are a couple of viewpoints along the way, nothing dramatic. After a while the trail connects and follows an old logging road.

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The section from here to Zigzag Mtn Rd was documented in on the of the previous hikes. I did try to found a route down to Devils Falls but the spot I picked had some 10-20ft cliffs to negotiate - I think there is a route there but it will take some looking around to find something safe and non-technical.

Here's some shots of Hood from the viewpoint:

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The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

raven
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Re: Zigzag Mountain Road Trail - Nov 15, 2008

Post by raven » November 16th, 2008, 12:43 am

A few years ago a friend with a cabin in the area mentioned these trails to me. I spent a couple of hours checking out the trails, including the lower end of the "Zigzag Mountain Road Trail", the viewpoint loop, the eastern extension that is part of the connector, and another trail that connected to the viewpoint loop from nearer the river.

The friend mentioned that a trail went into the flats to the east along the Zigzag River--along the north fork iirc, then crossing it. It continued beyond where he had followed it. At the time I assumed that the connector trail leading from the viewpoint trail was the take off for that trail up the north fork--I did not explore far enough to check out my supposition. He also mentioned (iirc) that a separate trail departed road 35 heading up the valley which extended beyond his range of exploration while staying south of the other trail. Both intrigue me; actually, the unroaded lowland flats intrigue me--that kind of unroaded country is scarce these days--the trails likely reflect an interesting history.

Steve

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retired jerry
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Re: Zigzag Mountain Road Trail - Nov 15, 2008

Post by retired jerry » November 16th, 2008, 7:15 am

If you look at the older maps, for example from "Portland Hiker Maps" in the field guide, you can see the North part of your "Zigzag Mt. Rd." is the same as the old "Devil's Canyon Trail", see picture below.

Did you see the Devil's Canyon Trail extend up to the Zigzag Ridge from where the Zigzag Mt. Rd. trail reached the top of that small ridge?

The regular road to the South end of the Burnt Lake trail which goes up to East Zigzag (road 31?) is a bad road - pot holes and rocks. It would be nice to avoid, as your route does.

A couple years ago I noticed a car broken into at the South Burnt Lake trailhead. I also noticed a couple creepy people driving on road 31, but maybe that's just because a saw a car break-in so now I imagine creepy people there :) Anyway, I tend to avoid that trailhead.
zigzag.jpg

pablo
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Re: Zigzag Mountain Road Trail - Nov 15, 2008

Post by pablo » November 16th, 2008, 1:09 pm

Steve,

I should have said 'I've mapped some the trails' in the area; there was one trail that went east from the Viewpoint Loop Trail I followed for a bit. It was obviously not used as much as the others as there was a lot of blowdown on it but it had been sawed out at some time in the past. I followed it east for a while but lost it. As it was going in the wrong direction (I had not yet found the Zigzag Mtn. Rd. Trail) I didn't bother to look around for any continuation. Could be an eastbound trail to the unroaded ground you mention.

--Paul
raven wrote:A few years ago a friend with a cabin in the area mentioned these trails to me. I spent a couple of hours checking out the trails, including the lower end of the "Zigzag Mountain Road Trail", the viewpoint loop, the eastern extension that is part of the connector, and another trail that connected to the viewpoint loop from nearer the river.

The friend mentioned that a trail went into the flats to the east along the Zigzag River--along the north fork iirc, then crossing it. It continued beyond where he had followed it. At the time I assumed that the connector trail leading from the viewpoint trail was the take off for that trail up the north fork--I did not explore far enough to check out my supposition. He also mentioned (iirc) that a separate trail departed road 35 heading up the valley which extended beyond his range of exploration while staying south of the other trail. Both intrigue me; actually, the unroaded lowland flats intrigue me--that kind of unroaded country is scarce these days--the trails likely reflect an interesting history.

Steve
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

pablo
Posts: 1442
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Zigzag Mountain Road Trail - Nov 15, 2008

Post by pablo » November 16th, 2008, 1:18 pm

I did the ridge trail and a report: #777 Devil Canyon Trail Exploration - Sept 14, 2008. I descended the ridge where I spent most of the day in light brush with no trail so you can imagine my shock when I ran into this well used section of trail following the old alignment of the #777.

--Paul
retired jerry wrote:If you look at the older maps, for example from "Portland Hiker Maps" in the field guide, you can see the North part of your "Zigzag Mt. Rd." is the same as the old "Devil's Canyon Trail", see picture below.

Did you see the Devil's Canyon Trail extend up to the Zigzag Ridge from where the Zigzag Mt. Rd. trail reached the top of that small ridge?

The regular road to the South end of the Burnt Lake trail which goes up to East Zigzag (road 31?) is a bad road - pot holes and rocks. It would be nice to avoid, as your route does.

A couple years ago I noticed a car broken into at the South Burnt Lake trailhead. I also noticed a couple creepy people driving on road 31, but maybe that's just because a saw a car break-in so now I imagine creepy people there :) Anyway, I tend to avoid that trailhead.
zigzag.jpg
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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Splintercat
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Re: Zigzag Mountain Road Trail - Nov 15, 2008

Post by Splintercat » November 16th, 2008, 4:41 pm

Thanks, Paul - the green "connector trail" is, indeed, the "Tripod Trail" that I mentioned in the other thread. Thanks for documenting all of this. Would you mind if I eventually moved this thread to Lost Trails?

Tom

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