Sturtevant Falls is one of the finest waterfalls in Angeles National Forest. The 3.3-mile hike from Chantry Flats to Sturtevant Falls follows a pristine creek past resort era cabins. This is among the most popular hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains, and with good reason.
- Sturtevant Falls is one of the Los Angeles waterfall hikes.
To get to Sturtevant Falls, 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.
The hike kicks off with 0.6 miles of steep pavement as you descend to Roberts Camp and Gabrielino Trail.
Variation: If you feel like you walk on too much pavement in Los Angeles as it is, you can take an alternate route down to Roberts Camp. Near the top, the road passes a junction with First Water Trail on the right. This dirt trail winds down the mountain and ends in Roberts Camp a little farther down Santa Anita Canyon. At the bottom of this trail, if you turned down the canyon, you would reach Hermit Falls, but if you head up the canyon, you can follow the creek past Roberts Camp cabins to join to the main trail. This route is one mile long, as opposed to the 0.6 miles down the paved road.
From the end of the paved road at Roberts Camp, cross the bridge and come to a junction. Proceed straight, following the sign for Gabrielino Trail to Sturtevant Falls. To the left, Lower Winter Creek Trail leads to Hoegees Camp.
Enjoy the calm sounds of the creek as you hike the wide trail up Santa Anita Canyon. Rock hopping is necessary at a few creek crossings, but what would a waterfall hike be without these?
Three quarters of a mile from Roberts Camp, Gabrielino Trail splits off to the left toward Spruce Grove Camp. Pass through the junction and proceed straight up the canyon for another quarter mile. After ascending 400 feet from Roberts Camp in a mile of lovely hiking, Sturtevant Falls provides a joyful greeting. The waterfall is a sight that is worth the risk of a few wet toes.
A large space at the base of the waterfall provides great viewing room for the 60-foot waterfall. Sturtevant Falls is a beauty of the San Gabriels, tumbling down a green mossy carpet into a broad pool.
Pack a picnic so that you can enjoy an extended sit beside Sturtevant Falls before heading back out and up.
To extend this hike, continue beyond Sturtevant 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 trek into the San Gabriel Mountains.
The basic directions for this hike to Sturtevant Falls are:
- Begin down paved Gabrielino Trail from Chantry Flats (0 miles)
- Pass First Water Trail (0.18 miles)
- When the pavement ends, continue on Gabrielino Trail through a junction with Lower Winter Creek Trail(0.65 miles)
- Stay to the right when Gabrielino Trail splits(1.4 miles)
- Reach the base of Sturtevant Falls(1.65 miles)
Dogs are welcome on leashes. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for vehicles parked at Chantry Flats Trailhead. No permit is needed to hike to Sturtevant Falls, so get out and enjoy!
To get to the trailhead: Take the 210 Freeway to Arcadia, east of Pasadena. Use exit 32 for Santa Anita Avenue and head north at the end of the offramp. Drive 5 miles up Santa Anita Avenue, going into the mountains. The road ends at Chantry Flats.
Trailhead address: Chantry Flats Road, Angeles National Forest, Arcadia, CA 91006
Trailhead coordinates: 34.1955, -118.0225 (34° 11′ 43.8″N 118° 01′ 21″W)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding Los Angeles trails and campgrounds.
|Spruce 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 |
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 |
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 Loop |
This 9.5-mile loop visits two peaceful creeks in sylvan canyons, passing a 60-foot waterfall and plenty of beautiful wilderness.
|Upper 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.
|More trails in the San Gabriel Mountains |
Explore other destinations in the range.
|Fish Canyon Falls |
This 4.8-mile round trip hike leaves from an active rock quarry and progresses up a beautiful canyon to a mesmerizing multi-tiered waterfall.
|Millard Falls |
This one mile hike visits a 50-foot waterfall up one of the most scenic canyons in the range.
|Switzer Falls |
This 4.5-mile hike starts out above and finishes below a 50-foot tall waterfall.
|Trail Canyon Falls |
This 4-mile hike ascends a mountain-framed canyon to a 30-foot beauty on the east side of the San Gabriel Mountains.
|More waterfalls around Los Angeles |
Explore other waterfalls in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains.