Mount Wilson Loop via Chantry Flats is a 12.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sierra Madre, CA that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
I'm sure most hikers here know about the "SoCal six-pack". Well basically, I've hiked most of the 6 but never did Mt Wilson (the easiest), so this Saturday I did that. It's about 14 miles round trip, we finished in about 7 hours with some breaks. Super fun, more beautiful than I expected to be honest. For some reason I though it would be pretty easy and but drab. In fact it's actually fairly tough and the views are fantastic. I made a short video of some of the views: https://youtu.be/ZPblDbuZmOM
I was amazed at the abundant shade. Would recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise, as this puts the longer part of the hike before the summit. Consider adding the Mt. Zion summit for an even greater challenge.
These directions are wrong. They take you to the observatory. Looks like maybe you can start that way but the gates don't open til 10 so when we got up there at 7am we had to drive back down the mountain and follow the directions on the other one listed.
Great hike EXCEPT, Mount Wilson trail is closed as of 10/21 due to a bear attack on 10/10. The trail is physically accessible, except for a small sign at the trailhead saying it's closed. Otherwise, the climb up Sturtevant Trail was a bit tough, and took my wife, myself, and our dog a full 4 hours starting at 6:45AM. The trail is cool in the morning, and mostly shaded and through trees and woods. A few small sections are exposed and have a "desert feel" to them. GOOD NEWS: the water refill at Mount WIlson is up and running as of this post.
We did this hike as the first of the "six pack of peaks" and found it challenging and rewarding. The 13+ miles was JUST at the limit of our dog's abilities, and I wouldn't recommend bringing a dog unless he/she has long distance hiking experience.
After a 45 minute break at the top, we hiked back down Sturtevant Trail in roughly 3 hours, which took longer than normal due to having to stop every 10 minutes towards the end to give our dog a break. The last .6 miles up Chantry Flats road was the hottest part of the trip, and unfortunately at the end which really pushed our dog to the limit.
Great hike! Make sure you have plenty of water the the trip back. You can't refill your water at the top anymore because of the drought.
Great trail, a lot of switch backs. Very difficult, and from chantry flats its 14 miles round trip. I also had a deer run up the creek in front of me and cross the trail, it was a cool sight. Bring lots of water. Happy hiking
Beautiful shaded hike all the way up very challenging for me.
This is a tough hike in my opinion. The views are impressive! Most of the trail will be shaded. Lots of different trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, and fauna. There is a water filling station at the top of Mt. Wilson. This is a 4-6 hour hike. Well worth the pain!!!
Do not follow the directions through this app as it takes you all the way up to the Observatory (the peak). Type in Sturtevant Falls on maps so that it can take you to the chantry flats trailhead and then you can make your way up via chantry flats. The falls was a trickle this time of year, but I plan to go back in spring when it's supposed to be very nice. The hike itself was very challenging as it is nothing but incline and very few leveled areas. There are bears in the area so please be safe and keep eyes and ears out. Take keys or anything that'll help you be a little louder. There were 3 in our area yesterday including a cub which can be dangerous. The bright side to this hike is that most of it is very shaded until you get closer to the peak. The views are nice once you are up there but there is no plaque to take a picture next to. You will end at the observatory and Cosmic Cafe which is nice since its shaded, has tables and clean restrooms! We did the loop which took us about 9.5 hours total including an hour of rest at the peak. It all depends on your fitness level obviously. We were a slower/ steady group. Arrive early as parking can suck! And don't forget your adventure pass which is also sold at the trailhead area or REI
Nice long hike. The Cosmic Cafe at the top makes the way back down much easier. Take your time on this one.
Great hike But I only hiked for the coffee. LOL!
Such a beautiful hike :-) Love the shade all the trees provide all year round!
bomb hiking. my favorite trails so far. I love this place.
Good training hike for Whitney or Half dome.
All in all a very beautiful and challenging trail to hike. Great scenery all the way from the bottom to the top. There is a lot of shade throughout the trail so the sun wasn't killer but that isn't an excuse to not use sun protection and bring lots of water. The switchbacks going up were very difficult so make sure you're prepared if you do not hike harder trails often.
The only downsides to the trail were the minimal amount of parking after 7 in the morning and the large amount of bugs I encountered on my way up. They were very difficult to deal with at times.
Make sure to check out the Observatory Cafe at the top of the mountain for some food and drinks before you make the descent. Trust me, your body will thank you. The descent is much easier than the climb up so if you made it up, you're pretty much set!
This has got to be one of the hardest incline of switchbacks I've been on in years. This trail is clearly defined, but definitely not for the beginner. It is all uphill with very little let up. It is very scenic with lots of overhead cover. I went about 3 weeks ago and it rained all the way up, but all the cover kept us from being drenched. Restrooms are bad. Bring your own tp and sanitizer. with the detour to Sturtevant Falls, my total roundtrip was 15.1 miles. The best hiking workout you can get.