Sturtevant Falls Waterfall Los Angeles National Forest Santa Anita Canyon San Gabriel Mountains Chantry Flats

Sturtevant Falls is one of the finest waterfalls in Angeles National Forest. The 3.25-mile hike from Chantry Flats to the falls follows a pristine creek past resort era cabins. This is one of the most popular hike in the San Gabriel Mountains, and with good reason.

To get to the waterfall, start from Chantry Flats and head down the paved road toward Roberts Camp, a quaint collection of quiet cabins surrounded by ivy-covered oaks and bays. This turn-of-the-century resort camp definitely isn’t abandoned, but you probably won’t see any of its residents.

There is 0.6 miles of steep pavement at the start of this hike as you descend to Roberts Camp. If you feel like you walk on too much pavement in Los Angeles as it is, there is an alternate route down to Roberts Camp. Near the top of the road, you will pass a junction with First Water Trail on the right. This dirt trail winds down the mountain and ends in Roberts Camp a little further down the canyon. If you turned down Santa Anita Canyon, you would reach Hermit Falls, but if you head up the canyon, you can follow the creek past Roberts Camp cabins to reach to the main trail. This route is one mile long, as opposed to the 0.6 miles down the paved road.

Gabrielino Trail
Cabins along the trail

From the end of the paved road at Roberts Camp, cross the bridge and follow the sign for Gabrielino Trail to Sturtevant Falls. Enjoy the calm sounds of the creek as you hike the wide trail up the canyon. Rock hopping is necessary at a few creek crossings, but what would a waterfall hike be without these? After 1 1/4 miles and 300 feet of elevation gain, you will be greeted by Sturtevant Falls, a site that is worth the risk of a few wet toes. A large space at the base of the falls provides decent viewing room for the 60-foot tumbler. Pack a picnic and sit beside the water before heading out and up.

Gabrielino Trail
Sturtevant Falls

To extend this hike, continue beyond the falls on Gabrielino Trail to Spruce Grove Camp. Additionally, you could add a side trek from Roberts Camp to Hoegees Camp or Hermit Falls. Sturtevant Falls may also be visited as part of the Santa Anita Canyon Loop, which is a great 9.5-mile immersion into the Angeles.

Dogs are welcome on leashes. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required to park a vehicle at the trailhead at Chantry Flats. No permit is required to hike to Sturtevant Falls, so get out and enjoy!

To get to the trailhead: Take the 210 east through Pasadena to Arcadia. Exit on Santa Anita Avenue and head north. Go up the mountain for 5 miles until the road ends at Chantry Flats.

Trailhead address: Chantry Flats Road, Angeles National Forest, Arcadia, CA 91006
Trailhead coordinates: 34.195515, -118.022503

Use the map below to create your own directions:

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Photos

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These photos were taken in February and April of 2009. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
spruce grove campSpruce Grove Camp
This 8-mile in-and-out or 9.5-mile loop takes hikers beyond Sturtevant Falls to a backcountry campground with seven first-come first-serve sites.
hoegees camp hike angelesHoegees Camp
This 4.25-mile hike follows Lower Winter Creek Trail through a beautiful wooded canyon to a backcountry campground with fourteen first-come first-serve sites.
Hermit Falls malibuHermit Falls
This 2.5-mile heads down canyon away from Sturtevant Falls toward a 30-foot waterfall. The lush canyon and the babbling creek are quite calming.
Santa Anita Canyon angeles hikeSanta Anita Canyon Loop
This 9.5-mile loop visits two peaceful creeks in sylvan canyons, passing a 60-foot waterfall and plenty of beautiful wilderness.
winter creek hike angelesUpper Winter Creek Trail
This 2.75-mile long trail can be used to extend Santa Anita Canyon Loop or create a 4.85-mile loop with Lower Winter Creek Trail.
Angeles hikeMore trails in the San Gabriel Mountains
Explore other destinations in the range.
Similar Trail
fish canyon hikeFish Canyon Falls
This 4-mile hike starts at a rock quarry with restricted access and ends up at a multi-tiered 80-foot waterfall.
millard falls angeles hikeMillard Falls
This one mile hike visits a 50-foot waterfall up one of the most scenic canyons in the range.
Switzer Falls hikeSwitzer Falls
This 4.5-mile hike starts out above and finishes below a 50-foot tall waterfall.
Trail Canyon Falls angeles hikeTrail Canyon Falls
This 4-mile hike visits a 40-foot beauty on the east side of the San Gabriel Mountains.
los angeles waterfallMore waterfalls around Los Angeles
Explore other waterfalls in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains.

18 Comments on Sturtevant Falls in the San Gabriel Mountains

  1. Cari says:

    We had an awesome time. This is a great place with spectacular views of waterfalls and wilderness and it’s really close to home if you live in Los Angeles County. They have trails for beginners….like us and trails for the more experienced hikers too. No matter which trail you take I’m sure you’ll be in for a great time. Pack a lunch and don’t forget to bring lots of water. We can’t wait to go back again and this time we’re planning to hike a different trail. They have lots of them so don’t miss out on a good thing. See you there.

  2. Hi,
    I recently finished a very detailed hiking map for people visiting Big Santa Anita Canyon where Sturtevant Falls is located. I offer a 15″ x 22″ paper map and also an APP for smart phones. Please check out my website if you’d like. It’s http://www.canyoncartography.com
    Thanks, Chris Kasten

  3. Sassyred says:

    Sturtevant Falls, to date, has been my favorite hike. My goal is to hike/photography all the waterfalls in California. This particular hike was chocked full of such interesting history and was a pure joy to do. Will be making this hike many times.

  4. Nicky says:

    Any mountain lions around?

    • Char says:

      Haven’t seen any, but i have seen a rattler on the trail. So beware of the hillside and stick to the trail.

    • RG says:

      We saw a large mountain lion on our hike the other day. We were on our way back down from Mt. Wilson – so, quite a distance from the falls themselves. But, it is important to know that mountain lions are in the area and to know what to do if you ever encounter one (which I hear is rare). We had little knowledge when it happened…..but, not anymore! I don’t ever want to feel that helpless again.

  5. [...] parked at Chantry Flats, did an old standard, the Upper Winter Creek Loop, and then added on the Sturtevant Falls up and back at the end. Water levels weren’t very high for this time of year, which is disappointing, but [...]

  6. Charles says:

    Hello, can anyone recommend a time for this hike on a Sunday? I’m trying to avoid the crowds and lack of parking as much as possible. I’ll be going this month.

  7. Julie says:

    How do I obtain a National Forest Adventure Pass?

  8. Silvia says:

    Hi does anyone know if the trails are open on holidays? like this 4th of July?

  9. Jason says:

    Has anyone been up to Sturtevant Falls recently (Aug/Sept 2013)? Is the waterfall (and creeks) flowing…given how little rainfall we’ve had this past year?

  10. oscar says:

    im thinking of going next weekend.. October 26/27 Same question as above regarding waterflow?

  11. Ron says:

    We just went on a hike to Sturtevant Falls this past weekend (November 10, 2013). We arrived in the afternoon (around 1:00) and there was plenty of parking in the Chantry Flats parking lot (starting location for the hike)….many hikers were either leaving or already left. No parking fees because of the Veteran’s Day weekend.

    There were quite a few hikers on the trails and there is still a small flow of water in the creek. Sturtevant Falls still has water flowing as well…not very much, but it’s still a waterfall.

    We would highly recommend the hike. Very easy hike on well maintained trails and paved road (at the beginning of the hike).

  12. Janie says:

    Does anyone know if dogs are allowed at Sturtevant Falls? Thanks!

  13. nasa says:

    is there a fee for visiting with pet,and is there go carts we can rent?

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