“West Zigzag Mountain provides access to the Zigzag Mountain Trail and Cast Lake Trail #796.”
— Kathleen Walker
The road getting to the trailhead used to have large potholes and if it has not been maintained, it requires high clearance vehicles. They improved the upper section in the summer of 2016. Best to check with the Zigzag Ranger District on the road condition. The trail is snowed in from late November to late May. The trail is in the Mt. Hood Wilderness.
This trail accesses the southwest corner of the Mount Hood Wilderness Area. This trail provides a short access to the ridge of Zigzag Mountain.
From the parking lot at the end of Forest Road 2627 on Enola Hill, the West Zigzag Mountain Trail starts out for the first 1/4 of a mile relatively flat, and then climbs steeply for another 3/4 mile, levels off and drops into a shallow drainage, before climbing gradually to the ridgeline of Zigzag Mountain for the last 0.9 miles.
It is a short run along the ridgeline to reach some stellar views. You can also access the old footings of the Zigzag Mountain lookout a short distance to the west.
For an 8.4-mile clockwise loop, at the north end of this trail, go right (east) on Zigzag Mountain Trail #775
for 3.5 miles to its junction with Devil’s Tie Trail #767. Go right (south) on Devil’s Tie Trail #767 for 0.3 miles to its junction with Burnt Lake Trail #772
. Go right (southwest) on Burnt Lake Trail #772
for 2.4 miles to return to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
The West Zigzag Mountain Trail starts in Douglas fir and western hemlock with some lodgepole and transitions into the mountain hemlock zone with more noble and silver fir. Western red cedar is found in the drainage. Otherwise, there is plenty of rhododendron, bear grass, huckleberry and vine maple.