This trail climbs a forested ridge above the north side of the Zigzag River eventually accessing the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and Paradise Park, an alpine meadow with outstanding view of Mt. Hood. This trail begins at Forest Road 2639-021 (2,800’) and ends a half mile above Paradise Park Loop Trail #757
From Forest Road 2639-021, the trail climbs gradually before starting up several switchbacks to a flat point after 1.7 miles. The trail continues northwest 0.7 miles to a ridgeline. The trail follows the ridgeline and climbs 3.25 miles to the junction with Zigzag Mountain Trail #775
. There are nice views of the Zigzag Canyon along the ridgeline.
Continue straight on #778 and after 0.2 mile the trail reaches the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail #2000. The trail continues through meadows and more open forest 0.5 mile to Paradise Park Loop Trail #757
. This junction is considered the old trail’s end. The trail continues, however, a further 0.5 mile through alpine meadows to a spectacular viewpoint (6,240’). Part of this trail was reconstructed in 1999 changing the steeper sections into more gradual terrain with switchbacks. The trail is a steady climb most of its length. While it does follow a ridgeline, it is not an “exposed ridge” that would be precarious for stock.
The lower sections of the trail are Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar. As you gain in elevation, it transitions to mountain hemlock, and then subalpine fir. Wildflowers increase as you gain elevation.