Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Hike to Mt Zion near Quilcene Washington

 Mt Zion Trail - Olympic National Forest
Tim and Hank hit the Mt Zion Trail

Last week end we took a great hike to the top of Mt Zion in the Olympic National Forest.  It was a glorious sunny day in the Pacific Northwest and the Washington state flower, the Coast Rhododendron, was in bloom all along the lovely forested trail.

Driving Directions to the Mt Zion Trail Head (Courtesy of the WTA Website)

"From Quilcene drive US 101 north for 1.5 miles, turning left (west) onto Lords Lake Loop Road. In 3.5 miles turn left at a junction at Lords Lake (a public water supply). Continue for 0.7 mile, entering the Olympic National Forest. Bear right on gravel Forest Road 28 and climb 4.75 miles to an unmarked junction at Bon Jon Pass (pass the junction with FR 27). Bear right on FR 2810 and in 2.3 miles come to the Mount Zion trailhead."

This is considered one of the best rhododendron hikes in Washington- not that we canines care about that!  There are great smells to be enjoyed!  Since we got an early start, other than our Meet-up group of hikers with dogs, we pretty much had the trail to ourselves on the way up, so we enjoyed some off-leash time.

This is a great hike for a summer day since it is in the shade of large evergreen trees until the summit is reached.  In June there were still a few trickles of water for dogs to slurp, but later in the summer this will be a dry hike, so be sure to bring water for both humans and canines.

According to Washington Trails Association, the  elevation gain is a modest 1300 feet in 2.3 miles to the top with the total round trip distance 4.6 miles.

  The first vista from the top is at the site of where there was once a fire tower.

The trail continues along the ridge with several other views along the way, saving the best one for last before heading back down the trail.

View from the Summit of Mt Zion - Olympic National Forest - Washington

Mt Zion is another fabulous dog-friendly hike in the Pacific Northwest

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