Mount Wilson Loop via Chantry Flats

HARD 201 reviews
#10 of 141 trails in

Mount Wilson Loop via Chantry Flats is a 12 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sierra Madre, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4721 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

These trails are gorgeous. However, they are also home to thick swarms of gnats, biting flies and mosquitoes. DEET, long sleeves , gloves, pants and head nets if you plan on going to the summit. The final leg has little shade and no streams to refill water until you get to the Observatories at the summit.

hiking
5 days ago

5 days ago

The bugs really took away from the fun of the hike. Enjoyed the first and last few miles along the creek. Bugs started about 3 miles in once the trail leaves the creek.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Bugs and flies were unrelenting today. Beautiful sweeping views! The trail seemed to take forever in the summer heat. Bring lots of water, bug spray and sunscreen.

hiking
27 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

Hike was great except for the bugs! We fought swarming gnatlike bugs all day. Insect repellent had no effect, as bugs would not land or bite. They just swarmed around your face constantly. At times a face net would have been great.

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

After an attempt to summit here in March that had to be cut short, we decided to start early and give it a full go. We went counterclockwise, and got a treat of the stream and falls on the way up. I enjoyed the telescopes at the top, as well as logging benchmarks and finding some geocaches. Then the hike down the familiar route taken in March got us back with plenty of daylight to spare.

https://youtu.be/2-L6wz4weEs

hiking
1 month ago

This is a challenging hike and the day we did it was the hottest day in So Cal this year. The amount of bugs on the way up were insane. There was a good 3 miles of continuously swatting them away from my face. We only stopped once about 4 miles in and only for a couple minutes because we didn't want to get slaughtered by the bugs. Very cool streams and waterfalls and the hike is shaded by trees the whole time. I'm glad I did it but felt reaching the top was uninspiring. This one was more like a exercise in self torture with no great views at the top. Definately go in cooler weather.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Great hike! Bug repellent was definitely not enough for the amount of bugs you will encounter. The hike up is mostly shaded, and pretty easy to follow with great signs leading the way. The last 2 miles or so of switchbacks were definitely a killer, but aside from that, the hike was pretty doable. We took the old toll road down and there wasn't many shaded areas so a hat and sunscreen are highly recommended. If you have bad knees or bad ankles, trekking pole will help greatly. There is a little cafe at the summit which is only open on the weekends. And there are bathrooms and places to fill your water on top. Get there early to get a good parking spot!

hiking
2 months ago

No parking at the trailhead by 6:50, had to park 0.8 mi down the road. Lower part of the trail was packed, but closer to the summit there weren't many people. Got eaten alive by bugs (20 bites on one leg, through leggings), and it didn't seem like it was just mosquitos, someone mentioned that there are horseflies in June. Cafe at the top had good food, but staying at the top for an hour definitely made the hike feel dragged out. The loop I did (approach from the east, descent along the west) kept us in the shade for a good portion of the hike, especially on the ascent.

I remember doing this hike maybe four years ago and being eaten alive by bugs and then deciding to never do it again. I had forgotten just how bad it was, and I did it as the first of the six-pack series this year. The views were gorgeous but I probably will opt to not hike it again for another four years, since I prefer hiking at elevation to big bites.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike, but horrible bugs!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

These trails are the prettiest in the L.A. National Forrest. However, they are also home to some of the thickest swarms of gnats, biting flies and mosquitoes I've experienced in California. DEET will NOT protect you. Long sleeves , gloves, pants and head nets if you plan on going to the summit. Or, do what I did, and just wave your arms all the way to the top like a lunatic. The final leg has little shade and no streams to refill water until you get to the Observatories at the summit.

hiking
2 months ago

I did this trail as an out-and-back from Chantry Flat to Mt. Wilson instead of a loop as described on this page. The total mileage ended up being around around 16 with 4000+ feet elevation gain (including the distance from the trailhead to my car). It was very crowded at Chantry, so I had to park about a mile down from the trailhead. The total mileage would've been around 14 miles had I parked closer.

2 months ago