Hiking Sturtevant Falls in Santa Anita Canyon

The Sturtevant Falls hike is one of the easiest and most rewarding hikes you can do in the Los Angeles area. Now while it does have a steep decline during the first half mile, which turns into a steep incline for the last half mile when you are hiking back, the trail is only around 3.6 miles round trip and is suitable for most people to do with ease. The trail is located in Big Santa Anita Canyon in the San Gabriels Mountains and is only about 10-15 minutes off the 210 freeway. Read on for the full walkthrough and photos.

Details

  • 3 miles
  • 600 feet of elevation
  • Mostly shaded
  • Dog friendly
  • Requires an adventure pass to park

Video

Here is a video I made of the trail, including Hermit Falls.

Getting There

From the 210 freeway, you will head north on Santa Anita Canyon Ave. This road turns into Chantry Flat Rd and the parking area is at the end of Chantry Flat Rd

Parking

By far the most difficult thing you encounter on this hike is finding parking. I have been here multiple times, and each time the lot has been full. On the weekends the parking can be backed up a half mile down the road, so you will want to find a place to pull out and park then walk to the trailhead. Make sure you take this into consideration when you are preparing for this hike and arrive early or go on a weekday. Also remember that if you are not able to park in the main lot (chances are good that you won’t) or the 10 dollar lot above it, then you will need to make sure you have your adventure pass on display for the parking along the road. I have seen many people get tickets, so don’t forget your pass.

The Trail

The trail starts right at the sign for Chantry Flats, past the gate, and immediately begins its steep decline. Just remember when you are walking down this that you will have to walk back up here at the end of the hike, so if it seems like too much, then it may not be worth continuing.

When you make it to the bottom, you are greeted with a small bridge that you will cross and a sign that lets you know the waterfall is 1.25 miles from here.

You will also start to see a few of the man-made waterfalls that they have on this trail. These are pretty awesome to see when the water is running as it cascades over them in impressive fashion.

This path is shaded for the rest of the way and it provides a peaceful and incredibly beautiful path along the stream.

The trail continues through the light forest area until it meets with a small community of houses. I was told these cabins are privately owned, and people live there on a seasonal basis. They are cool, and there are about 15 of them along the trail. Some even have little walkways, as well as outhouses and outdoor furniture.

If you continue to follow the path you will make it to a water crossing. While not much of a crossing there is a piece of wood and rocks that will keep your feet from getting wet.

After that you head up the trail for the last quarter of a mile before hitting the waterfall.

Once you finally see Sturtevant Falls, you realize how tall and how beautiful it really is.

The falls are probably every bit of 75 feet tall, and there are always at least a couple people there enjoying them at the base. I imagine that during the summer this place is probably teaming with visitors even though there is not a lot of water.

The photos in the post are from 2017, when we had a truly great year of rain, so that is why the water was rushing so much.

I would highly recommend this hike if you live in the area. It is such a nice escape from city life and provides a good workout that almost anyone should be able to handle. Take your time and plan for a couple hours as you will want to enjoy all of the beautiful scenery and hang out at the falls. If you want to make it a longer hike you can also head to Hermit Falls which is down stream and which is another nice waterfall in the area. Let me know if you have hiked this in the comments and what you thought.

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About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.

  • Jen

    Great site!! I love that I’ve been to almost all these beautiful places..in the driving directions you stated it was off the 215 freeway but actually it’s off the 210 freeway didn’t want people to get lost trying to find this beautiful places..I’m looking forward Tomorow adventures from you

    • Thanks for the correction! Def don’t want anyone to be lost, I will update it!

  • Gina

    Are dogs allowed on this hike? If not, can you suggest a hike that does? Thanks!

    • From what I have heard this hike is dog friendly hike. When I was there I even saw a dog hanging out by the waterfall. For more information on dog friendly hikes I always recommend calling the local ranger station for that hike in advance.

  • anxious_acorn

    Beautiful! Is it dog friendly?

  • Granny

    I am a 55 year old woman who never exercises. My son took me on this trail last week. He hikes it weekly. It was a beautiful hike. I was surprised that it was not too challenging, although the last 1/2 mile incline on the way back took a few breaks to accomplish it. If your in decent health, it is manageable and well worth your time. It is dog friendly and a safe hike. I went in April 2014 and there was still water.

    • Thanks for the comment, I agree the uphill at the end is tough! Thanks for the water update too

  • grammy

    Used to take my kids there in the 80’s!!!, and this weekend they both took there kids hiking to the falls, glad we found your blog, I want to take the grandkids to some of your spots, THANK YOU FOR SHARING !!!!!

  • sarah

    i went today ( june 14th) and there was still water but its not nearly as much as your picture above, and the main made falls are all dried up, but California is in a drought! Enjoyed the hike! thank you for posting!

    • sarah

      man made*

    • Thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed it!

  • Tan

    Is there any sites for camping overnight?

    • Bill Meadows

      two places in the general area Spruce Grove and Hoagees Camp, first come first served sites located about 4 miles or so in….. there is also the walk in Sturtevant resort, which you can get more info about from the adams pack station website..

  • Pedro A.

    I was there today..and it was pretty.. that 1/2 mile back ain’t a joke.. thank you for this post..

    • Awesome photo! Thank you for sharing!

  • Mma

    Anyone know if there is still water here and waterfall at this time of season? Would be nice to see waterfall.

  • Hey Josh,

    Did the hike the other weekend with my friends. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

    / Austin

    • Thanks for the comment, that is a beautiful hike, especially when the water is flowing good

  • Christine Tucci Angell

    This is SO AWESOME. Thank you so much!

  • Julio Montes

    Hi Josh you mentioned that the trail is only 10 away from the 210 fwy, I’m showing 1:25 minutes from the freeway up, did something changed?

    • From the 210 Freeway, you will want to go north on Santa Anita Ave which connects with Chantry Flat Rd. The parking lot is at the end of that road. It is about 15-20 minutes from the freeway.

  • James Rulison

    Does anyone know if the water is still flowing this time of year?

    • I would recommend checking out the Instagram location tag as you will be able to see recent photos from the waterfall

  • Mike

    I heard there’s a somewhat hidden and haunted path near the end of the hike, any truth to this mysterious trail?