For a beautiful outdoor experience, look no further than Sturtevant Falls. It has been entertaining guests for years. Welcoming both horses and leashed dogs, this trail is a way to get outside and enjoy something breathtaking. Having somewhere to visit when the weather is nice is ideal, and Sturtevant Falls is one of the best-rated places on the list.
Though this hiking trail is one of the easiest in the Los Angeles area, it is also one of the most rewarding for hikers. Whether you live in the area or are visiting from out of town, there are special spots along the way during the hike that can bring more enjoyment to the overall experience that a person has while on the trail. Learn more about the trail and why it is so highly recommended by those that have hiked it previously.
What Is Sturtevant Falls?
Sturtevant Falls is a hiking trail that is 3 miles long. It was founded and used back in the 1890s for the first time. Located in the Big Santa Anita Canyon and in the San Gabriels Mountains, it is a hidden gem that many locals know about. Around 10 minutes right off of the 210 freeway, it is easy to get to and even easier to enjoy once you get there. There is a lot of history on the trails and many of the camps and cabins located along the way have been there since the early 1900s. Near Sierra Madre, California, it is an ideal spot to visit if you're in the area and would like to take in lots of amazing scenery. Best used from November to March, the trails provide outdoor access to many scenic areas on a small mountain or a look down into a waterfall that is moderately sized. The traffic is generally not too packed throughout the year, and the weather provides comfort while hiking up some of the toughest terrains on the trail. The waterfall is located just inside the trail so those visitors have to venture through the area to visit the hidden gem within. Sturtevant Falls welcomes humans as well as their horses or canine companions provided that they are kept on a leash at all times throughout the trail.
Planning an Adventure To Sturtevant Falls
Visiting Sturtevant Falls doesn't have to be difficult. Planning a trip there is ideally well thought out so that those visiting can make a day-trip out of the experience. Whether you're coming from near or far, having an idea of what is located around Sturtevant Falls can help everyone plan their trip accordingly.
What to Expect
Parking can fill up fast in the designated parking lot area, so it is recommended that you come early by carpooling with a group, stay on the trails, and come later in the day. Parking does require an Adventure Pass to get in, but these can be purchased for $5. Those hiking later in the day should bring bug spray, because the cooler temperatures can bring the bugs out. The hike is close to 4 miles from start to finish. Those that are hiking along the trails will notice cabins and historic outdoor resorts along the way. They will, however, be off into the wooded areas and difficult to get too.
Small houses will dot the trails. They are privately owned and usually have residents living in them come warmer seasons. Once the streams start having crossings, you will know you are coming upon the waterfall. The waterfall is 50 feet high and cascades down into a round pool below. There are large rocks that outline the edges of the waterfall, but there are no fences that keep anyone from going into them.
This is historic land that allows you to check into some of the most daring, interesting bunkers that have ever been used, and trekking through them is one of the biggest adventures in the area. The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of the groups that ended up in the cabins, and they still stand to this day. Close to the L.A. Basin sprawl, it is a part of the listed hiking trails that come recommended for those that want to explore all the available options in this area.
The main area of the hiking trail does become highly populated in the middle of the day, so this is important to keep in mind when planning a time to take a hike. The last bit of the hike is uphill, so this can become overwhelming for those who have a more difficult time getting up steep hills.
Where to Stay
Sturtevant Camp is highly recommended for those that want to lodge in the area. Guest cabins, retreat cabins, and a honeymoon cottage are all offered in this area. Those that wish to stay in hotel accommodations instead of on the trail can do so in one of the nearby recommended hotels. Some recommended options include Embassy Suites, Oak Tree Inn, Residence Inn, Best Western, Quality Inn, and Comfort Inn. All provide different amenities within them that can make the person's stay more comfortable.
One of the most historic places is the cabin area built before WWII at Robert's Camp. These cabins hold visitors that want to take in a piece of history and enjoy more of the trails. Still connected by a crank phone system, they are privately owned and are hard to get to by anything other than foot or mule. They can be explored, but those that show up usually are staying in the cabins; thus, it is a good idea to make a reservation ahead of time as to not upset any current visitors if you plan on going there.
What to Do
While in the area, besides walking the trail, it is good to know what all this place has to offer. Those that are visiting the area will find that many small shops line the strips in the main town. This provides a way to get necessities, a bite to eat, and anything else that you might need before heading back out.
Those that visit this area visit for the hiking experiences, the history hidden in the lodges and cabins, and the small shops in the towns below that give a charm unlike any others. The area does have a different air about it than any other place, making it an ideal way to spend downtime. The Pack Station is a place that welcomes hikers for a quick meal, handkerchiefs, bathroom breaks, and more.
Where to Eat
There are plenty of places to eat in the area for those that are coming for the weekend. Packing meals or lunch for the day is recommended when hiking up the trails. There are shaded spots where hikers can stop to eat. Adams' Pack Station is highly recommended for the pulled pork that is slow cooked over a campfire by an authentic cowboy. The biggest draw here is that this specialty item can only be found the third weekend of every month. There are other menu items, but this slow-cooked specialty can only be purchased during this special time of the year. You can relax on the back porch of this cabin while eating and enjoying the weather that is brought to you only from this location. There are other smaller shops and diners in the town below that welcome visitors hiking the trails, but Adams' and the Pack Station are the only places along the trails that offer items or food to visitors.
Overall, this is an experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. The falls welcome everyone, and with the help of nearby amenities, it is possible to spend the day or an entire weekend in the area exploring. Those that want to make a weekend out of this trip usually hike from Chantry Flats to Sturtevant Falls. This is a scenic option that provides plenty to do, beautiful views, and a way to take in nature. You can enjoy all that this area of California offers and stop to check in to some other offerings that come with this place and the hiking that it offers to those who love the great outdoors. Sturtevant Falls provides beauty and excitement to those that enjoy hiking trails, new experiences, and clean air with a small historic twist on the trip.
Given 4 out of 5 stars, this hiking trail is on the easy side but also provides enough enjoyment throughout to keep everyone entertained (even children). Those that want to bring their dogs are able too. The bottom of the waterfall is a wading area, which is nice on a hot day or after hiking the trail in the sun. The trail welcomes all that want to have a good time and explore the outdoors without being overly crowded or lengthy. This place is highly recommended to those that want to hike a trail and get enjoyment out of it. Everyone is welcome along the trail or in the campgrounds. If you want to explore something different today, Sturtevant Falls is a beautiful place to begin exploring.