Looking for a great trail in Chantry Flat Recreation Area, California? AllTrails has 5 great views trails, wild flowers trails, wildlife trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 3 hard trails in Chantry Flat Recreation Area ranging from 14.2 to 293.4 miles and from 2,139 to 11,499 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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Chantry Flat Recreation Area is located near the towns of Arcadia and Sierra Madre in Angeles National Forest. The flat hosts the last pack station in Southern California, Adams Pack Station, has large picnic area with 35 picnic tables, and is the starting location for several historic trails in the area. The site was originally planned to be a ranch by a prospector named Charley Chantry in the early 1900s. However, his permit failed to go through and he lived on the land with his dog, Patch, spending enough time here to have the placed named after him. Chantry Flat is the trailhead for many great hiking trails in the San Gabriel Mountains area. These trails include the Gabrielino Trail and Sturtevant Trail, which passes Sturtevant Falls and leads to Sturtevant's Camp, the oldest resort in the San Gabriel Mountains. The recreation area can be accessed off of Angeles Crest Highway. There is a small parking area that fills up quickly. There is some overflow parking in the Adams' Pack Station, however it is still recommended to arrive early, especially on weekends. A California Adventure Pass is required to park in the official parking area and on the street.

The trail was in very good condition considering the amount of rain we’ve had in the last few weeks. Stream crossings were deeper than usual but all were manageable. I’ve never used poles but the challenging stream crossings and packed snow on the upper switchbacks made me wish I had them.

washed out
13 days ago

I did this trail 02/07 and I took the lower falls trail to Sturtevant camp to the top of Mount Wilson. The lower falls trail had about 5 stream crossings due to the previous storms. I’d def bring an extra pair of socks for anyone trying to do it in the winter with all the snow still at the top. There was fresh snow about 2 miles from the top and not a lot of foot travel on that side. It was def icy and slippery in certain spots. I’d recommend trekking poles and maybe even microspikes for those hiking alone. It was so peaceful and beautiful at the top. Hardly any hikers on the trail and I took the full loop back down. The mt Wilson trail back down felt way safer with snow than the backside I came up. Both trails had multiple trees down and muddy areas. Keep an eye out for slushy wet snow...I slipped a couple times going up and back down. Overall it was a killer hike. Can’t wait to revisit it in the spring/summer

Did this trail right after this week's storms (2/6/19). Water is flowing and the falls are roaring, however, parts of the trail are littered with rocks and trees that require some scrambling. There was patchy snow that gradually became 4-5 inches of fresh powder when I started the switchbacks. Parts of the switchbacks were slippery and ended up sliding down a few times. Trekking poles will be your friend here. Plan for a longer climb since the snow slows you down. The climb took about 5 hours while the descent took only about 2.5 hours since I ran due to fading light.

General directions:I

Park at Chantry Flats. You'll need an Adventure Pass which you can purchase from the nearby Pack station or from Big 5. Alternatively, you can use the 'America the Beautiful' annual pass, just don't forget to sign and display it properly. Near the restrooms, there's a gate that's closed to vehicles. This is the start of the trail. Head down the beautiful asphalt and follow the signs and you'll arrive at a stream crossing. Cross the bridge and head right.

Just before Sturtevant falls there's a fork on your left, one leads to the top of the falls, the other (Horse trail) bypasses it. Both will eventually merge into Sturtevant trail. Previously I took the right trail but lost the trail after call box 8. Apparently you have to cross the stream and head left once you see an arrow sign pointing to the other side, then cross back again after a 200 or so meters. The lower trail is the more scenic one but also has the narrowest section of the trail.

The trail will be pretty straight forward, however, right before Sturtevant camp go left and cross those little dams to continue to Mt. Wilson. This part of the hike has a steady incline but lots of shade for taking breaks. Keep following the trail and you'll arrive at a couple of switch backs that takes you directly to the Observatory.

On the way back, follow the signs towards Cosmic Cafe (closed for the until sometime in March) and parking lots. There's an overlook there where you can see the LA basin as well as a rock near the fence with the USGS marker. The trail should be on the right. After a few miles, Mt Wilson trail intersects Mt Wilson Toll Road. Take the left trail. Keep following it until you arrive at a bench, relax and take in the views, then head left. Follow the trail until you hit the Winter Creek Junction. Follow the trail for 3 miles towards Chantry Flat. This trail also allows you to skip the beautiful asphalt you descended when you started. At this point the trail is pretty easy with some incline in some sections. You'll end up right above the parking lot.

My friends and I decided to do this hike on a day of torrential rain, which turned out to be a fairly crazy idea. The first 4 miles are beautiful, following a river past small cabins and up a nice incline, then three miles from the summit this trail jacks up and hits the legs hard. I'm not sure how much of the pain was due to the driving rain, wet boots, and a dabble of physical inadequacy, but this was a bloody tough one. For those attempting this in bad weather, there's a great museum at the top for cowering in and questioning your decision-making skills while rubbing your friend in order to thwart off hypothermia. Also, the gate up to the car park was locked upon our entry and exit, although on entry we were aided by a foul-mouthed mountain angel who opened the gate while shouting about "f***ing a******s never open the f***ing gate, go on in and enjoy your god damned hike".

Amazing, luckily I was there while the park is closed so not many people there. :)

The front gate is closed, so just walk around it.

I completed this hike on 1/7/18. The extra walk made this an over 21 mile hike. We got to the summit at sunset and descended in the dark with headlamps. From the parking to the trailhead is about 3.5 miles of steep incline on asphalt, don’t let that ruin your day #OptOutside.

This trail is very well maintained. We saw deer, salamanders, and a mountain lion.

The second half of the loop had a few fallen down trees so just expect to hop over them. The wildlife is extra wild from the closure, so be prepared to see some animals and to know what to do when you come face to face.

Be aware of the change of temperature from the trailhead to the summit. There is snow on the summit.

We saw no other people up there so be careful and bring a buddy Incase of emergency. Have a plan.

The vertical climb gets pretty intense towards the end after Sturtavent Camp, especially with how bad that first 3.5 miles blows your legs out, but we did it, so you can do it. You got this!

My buddy’s Garmin GPS clocked us at 21.35 total miles and 5,482 feet in elevation gain for the day.

2019 Hike 2 of 52. Six Pack of Peaks 2019 1 of 6.

IG: @TheSoCalHiker94

If you do this as a loop, the ascent is pretty brutal. “Hard” not moderate. Rest of the hike is easy. You want hiking boots and a good fitness level if you do the loop ascent. The “loop” part is basically a cut straight up the mountain once you get to the helicopter pad. Then you take the gentle fire road back down. Entrance to the loop part is around back of the building beside the helipad. It’s not marked but walk around the back of the building and it’s easy to spot. If I did this again I would do it as an out and back, up the fire road and then back down. The ascent is a pretty unpleasant scramble, unless you’re into that sort of thing. Overall this is a beautiful hike, low traffic and great views.

Creds: AllTrails Pro. ‘Pro’ worth $30 a year to never worry about getting lost - lots of opportunity . 14.5 mi hike per ‘AllTrails’. I-Phone 8 - 15 mi. My friends Iphone6 - 16 mi. This was an 8 hr hike given the significant altitude gain 4,646’.

Parked and departed 1 Dec 2018 Saturday 8am at Chantry Flats. Have annual Adventure Pass for $29 from REI that provides access to all southern Ca National Parks.

Went counter clockwise. Trails well maintained. Creek and Sturtevant Falls flowing due to rain 2 days ago and trails not muddy. 90% shaded from beautiful canopy of Bay Laurels, Oaks, pine trees. Hot bowl of chili and coffee at Cosmic Cafe (now closed for season) at Mt Wilson half way point . Entire hike on beautiful trails . Beer garden at bottom end of hike at “Adams Packing Station” great way to celebrate accomplishment.

Worth it. Lots of creek crossings, a few caves, clips, campground. Somewhat maintained Moderat trail

This was my first real day hike. Had to do it twice before summiting. It’s no joke. This hike will test your resolve.

Parking lot & turnouts full. Paid $20 for valet parking near store. Started hike off Sturtevant trail at 8:15 a.m. Took us 4 hours to reach summit (Observatory) and 3 hours to return/ loop around through Wilson trail (Upper Winter Creek). Return trailhead is off the cafe parking lot, however it is not marked.Tracker recorded 15.5 miles.Don't be deceived, it's a strenuous hike. Beautiful mountainous views.

it's decent. very heavily trafficked. it's a challenge for a new hiker definitely!

About 90% of this hike is shaded which is very nice for comfort but limits the view points. I guess it was nice to change it up from the dessertous terrain of SoCal. It was also nice because I got a late start but didn’t get caught in the worst of the sun. Btw parking is rough if you get there late, I parked 0.8 miles from the trailhead.

Started out this hike with what felt like a million other people, I was not excited and kept weaving around them. Around mile 4 where it splits off to summit Wilson, just past sturtevant camp, everyone disappeared. Yay. But I was immediate joined by eight million mosquitos. Luckily I had some bug spray, if I do this hike again, I’ll bring a head net. As others have said, the summit left much to be desired. No log book, signage, etc plus people can drive there so it doesn’t give you the same sense of accomplishment.

Worth mentioning, when you get to the burned area just before the peak, there is load of poison oak? I’m terrible at IDing plants but someone told me it was poisonous and what it looked like, it was scary especially with my dog but I think we made it out unscathed.

Made it up in 4 hours and down in 2.5. Overall not a bad day but def not my fav hike in SoCal.

Absolutely loved it. The scenery is beautiful and definitely a challenge for beginners.

The trail is way over crowded, a lot of trash, parking sucks. it's more of a walking trail than a hike as half of it is a paved road.

What a great hike! I started from the Sturtevant trail and it was a steady but pleasant hike up through the canyon. I only recorded 4.5 miles and ~900 ft elevation gain.

Really pretty and challenging hike. As someone else has mentioned, reaching a parking lot at the top is not ideal. It’s just not the same kind of reward you get when you hike San Jacinto for example. If I were to do this hike again I think I would have someone pick me up at the top and drive me back to my car. Going up is always more fun than coming back down, at least for me.

Increíble el dolor de piernas que causa! Muy recomendable. Llevar suficiente agua y repelente de mosquitos. En la cima hay un café por si a caso necesitan comer o tomar algo. La recorrí el 23 de septiembre y no hubo mucha gente, se debe de comprar el gafete para parking (5 usd).

I hiked on 9/22/18. started at parking lot at 0645, made it to the summit at 1215( yeah, I'll never break any speed records) at my age just finishing is a big deal.
Trail is beautiful, mostly in shade through forest, just gorgeous. last few miles to the summit are a bit rough. but of the 4 six pack of peaks that I have done this year. the is easily the most beautiful.
if you go on the weekends, the Cosmic Cafe is open at the summit. Had a killer hot dog, coke and cookie all for 10 bucks. a life saver. got back down to car at 515. so a full day hiking. Fyi, all trails has it as 11 miles, the signage on the trail show it round trip at 14. both my pedometers showed it 18. So go figure. Anyway a great day and an awesome hike. places to camp along the way also.

Get there early if you want to find parking!

As previously stated parking is a challenge if you don’t arrive early. Over all it was a nice leisurely hike many squirrels, dragon flies and butterflies.. Colors are beginning to change. Was able to take a nice peaceful nap at Hodgees campsite before heading back down the trail.

5 months ago

This is my first hike in a national forest and I really enjoyed it! This route in particular wasn’t too steep and has plenty of shade, my 10 year-old brother who didn’t really have any hiking experience said it was an easy hike. Just make sure you arrive early because the parking lot fills up quickly; we arrived at 6:50 am (Sunday) and we had to park a long way down the road!

like the rock canyons. nice hike

Trail is open!!

too many people not enough parking

I hiked this very beautiful trail a few years ago, it was a very nice challenge. Bring lots of water if it's warm, there is a section that has no shade.

昨天走upper Winter creek不过瘾,今天一大早5点半开始这条。一路树荫,凉爽,可惜没有什么水,带的4升水,狗2升,自己2升,9点到天文台重新补水。下山Wilson 到sturtevant falls 这一段比较陡,伤膝盖,后悔早上匆忙没带手杖。总体感觉不错!推荐。


I completed the loop on Aug 4, I really liked the nicely wooded trail, for the majority of the trail I was cover by trees and nice shade that protected me from the sun and the terrible heat.
I definitely recommend a map for this hike, there are so many different trails going in all directions, that even when I was following the Alltrails app very closely I still managed to take the wrong turn and ended 20 minutes wondering around.
I think that the entire loop is too long, by the end I just wanted to be done with it, I think I would enjoy doing this hike one way up to the Observatory then drive back to Chantry flats.

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