Back to index Mt. Zion Lookout Hike
Trip Date:  06/11/2016

: 2.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 400'

Group Size: 1
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate   Hard   Strenuous
Mt Zion Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Mt Zion Lookout Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 23.628, W 120 39.208     End Coordinates:   Same as start coordinates
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 88 to the town of Pine Grove.  Near the east end of town turn south on Mt. Zion road, and follow this approximately 1 mile to the trailhead parking at the CDF gate.  Park in the dirt area where the nature trail kiosk is located on the other side of a split rail fence.
Hazards of Note:   Rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak. Crowd Factor:   Minimal.  Dog walkers and runners particularly make use of this trail.
General Notes:
From the parking area you have many options, as there are three or four locations at which you can begin your journey in the area.  If you want to follow the nature trail loop, head to the trail furthest to the east, and you will find the associated markers labelled 1 through 10 as indicated on the kiosk for the local plants in the area.  The nature trail loop is just a little over a mile, so if you head east from the parking area down the road for about 500 feet, there is another small trailhead for a little more exploration of the area that can be used to add to the mileage in the area.  N 38 23.628, W 120 39.208N 38 23.628, W 120 39.208N 38 23.628, W 120 39.208N 38 23.628, W 120 39.208N 38 23.628, W 120 39.208

Nature trail kiosk and parking area at the start of the Mt. Zion hiking area. Start
One example of the plant markers along the way.  This is the one for the Ponderosa Pines in the forest area here.
One of the markers 
A fairly new looking picnic area near the fire lookout itself almost at the top of the hill. Picnic area
The CDF fire lookout just south of the picnic area.  There were CDF members in full gear moving equipment up and down while I was visiting on this day. Lookout tower
Up on the ridge the views to the east and south east were pretty spectacular of the western part of Amador County.  
Some of the firefighters apparently have front-row seating on the ridge to overlook the valley below. Front row seating
The communications array at the very top of the ridgeline was pretty impressive, as were the clouds behind it on this particular day.   Communications
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike