Mount Wilson Trail via Sturtevant Trail

HARD 541 reviews

Mount Wilson Trail via Sturtevant Trail is a 11.7 mile moderately 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 January until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,379 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

scramble

Adventure Pass required.

hiking
1 day ago

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).

1 day ago

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.

15 days ago

like the rock canyons. nice hike

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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。

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Great for the seclusion. As others have mentioned the summit is not much to look at but overall it was fun. Reward yourself with some junk food if the vendor is open when you go.

hiking
2 months ago

Kind of a boring hike to be honest. You hike all that way to reach a parking lot filled with families that drove up there to eat at the cafe. Won’t be doing this hike again anytime soon. At least it was a six pack crossed off the list. There are much better hikes then this long, boring, mosquito filled, non-rewarding summit.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this yesterday as part of the 6pack peak challenge.

1st, like everyone says, definitely not 12.5 miles. My All Trails recording clocked in at 14.7 with 5100ft of elevation gain. Once you cross the bridge at the bottom of the canyon, we went right and loved the views along the creek all the way to Sturtevant Camp, so much so that I had to google the history behind all the cabins this morning.

The camp is a great spot to recharge for the remaining 3 miles to the top because they were brutal. Tons of switchbacks. lots of elevation gain. So glad I had my hiking poles with me.

Hung out for an hour up at the top, refilled our camelbaks and set out for the trek down. The first two miles were in direct sunlight through a burn area, so pack your sunscreen. But like everyone below, look out for the left turn onto Wilson Trail. Then another left. Lots of switchbacks down. Hard on the knees. Again, poles were super helpful.

Once you get back to the bridge, you then have to trek the .5 miles straight uphill in direct sun again to get back to the parking lot. That was “fun” after completing the 14 mile loop. But after all was said and done, it was a fun loop, great scenery with a little bit of history and I got to put my Adventure Pass to use.

Note: sunscreen, bug spray and lots of water were musts. I went through 3.5L through the whole thing. I even brought some Cliff Shot Blocks (with extra sodium) that saved my legs from cramping up.

3 months ago

Joined my co workers on the 6 peak challenge socal and this was our first one to climb. Ive done hiking before but this one was the hardest ive ever done but then again i wasnt on my fittest either but regardless of being fit or not its one tough cookie! Great experience and one for the books. I didnt get to make it to the top but proud to say i completed close to 11 miles total! Do recommend to take enough water to hydrate, early hike, sunblock, good hiking shoes/gear.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is really fun. A mixture of nice bush and pine trees to high elevation desert plants. The trail itself is well maintained but it isn’t well sign posted for this particular loop. I had the map for the trail downloaded and had no issues but if I had no map I would’ve struggled in a few places. It took me about 4 hours to get up to the top of the trail and 2 hours to get down.

The top of the trail has an area for sitting that overlooks the area and a clean tap for filling up drink bottles.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail with a group of 6 on Friday, June 8. Arrived at parking lot 6:30am and it was nearly empty (weekday). We also came across very few people on the trail. Not the most scenic hike but definitely a tough workout. After Spruce Grove Campground, the going gets very tough due to steeper incline and includes mosquitos and other flys. Note the weather was not hot. I got bit about 6 times each leg and had the spray which helped somewhat. I think a face net would have helped as well.

CAUTION: The trail is not marked well in many areas as we came across a few junctions which did not have a sign. And then on the way down while taking Mt. Wilson Toll Rd, we ended up missing a left turn for “Mt Wilson trail” towards what should have become Winter creek trail. We didn’t realize this mistake until we were already 2.5 miles down Wilson Toll Rd near Henninger Flats. There’s a difference in “Wilson toll road” and “Wilson trail”. A friend of mine who ran this trail 3 weeks back also missed this turn initially until running back up. After going back and reviewing the photos on web, I believe the sign is also faded for the left turn to Wilson Trail/Winter Creek.

Realizing we had spent all our energy uphill and how far we were from winter creek, we reviewed the paper map (not very helpful if you get far off trail) and our phone map. After checking our phones (only Verizon worked and thank goodness), we decided to keep hiking down eventually leading us to the start of Eaton Canyon trailhead. We then had to Uber back to Chantry Flats. Phone clocked nearly 18-20 miles hiking.

The trail signs really should be more clear. This does not excuse us from being fully prepared as we should have been. Lesson learned for future adventures.

hiking
3 months ago

I hiked this trail on June 1st 2018. With little preparation and a few sandwiches me and my friend went up to mount wilson using the trail depicted here. It was a Friday and we got to Chantry Flats at 6:30 a.m. Since we did not have the nature pass we payed $5 to park in the packing station, of note it does cost $10 later in the day. The trail is closer to 18 miles, and the cosmic Cafe at the peak is only open on Sat and Sun. When it comes to the trail it was tough but doable, just come knowing that you will leave tired and it isn't a cake walk. Also there is an extreme amount of mosquitos, so be aware of that.

hiking
3 months ago

Woke up at 5:30am all chipper, figuring it would be a nice quick hike around Mount Zion Loop, and we'd be done for an early lunch. Well. We hiked up Sturtevant, not another soul on the trail, very cool! (Actually, COLD is more like it.) At the junction we decided to continue up Sturtevant to do the entire Mt. Wilson loop. We weren't ready for it but we figured, "We're here, let's go!" The only other times I've hiked 15+ miles in one go was Half Dome, and a sections of the Mauna Loa Summit trail. I wanna say this was pretty tough, but I think my view of it is harder than it really is since we went off-trail down Mt. Wilson Rd adding about 2.5 miles to our day. That sucked. Once you leave the summit and you head down Mt. Wilson Rd, make sure you turn left to go down Winter Creek Trail, and don't continue down Mt. Wilson Rd. The trail was not hard to follow, but there were definitely some ratty old difficult to read signs.

Anyway, overall a great trail I could see doing again for a good challenge or conditioning, or just for some peace and quiet in those woods.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike--if you're ready for it. The first part of the hike is up the beautiful canyon, lots of water falls and rapids, great view of Sturtevant Falls from above. Above Sturtevant Camp, the climb is pretty strenuous--but all shaded through lovely oak forests. The route down again is mostly shaded, but more vistas. Switchbacks down the Winter Creek Trail get a little tiresome, but then we took the Upper Winter Creek Trail instead of back down to the canyon bottom -- a little longer, but much more level and nice views. And to avoid any conusion on the route, I found the guide hikingguy.com excellent.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this loop with lots of ladies for the 1st peak of 6 pack of peaks challenge. The trail is well maintained and shaded. Never a boring view. No scary Canyon drops to the side of trail but poison oaks everywhere. Switchbacks were fantastic and challenging. Though it was super foggy when we reached up the cafe really provided a nice place to take a break. Short staffed of course and you just need to be super patient and wait to get your turn to order.

4 months ago

Great hike! There are many ways to the summit, but I followed this map and enjoyed it. Ascended up Santa Anita trail (bugs were bad, for several miles. Wished I had brought spray. Was attracting them with my sweat and sunscreen). Trail is hard to follow and not clearly marked in many places. GPS helped keep me on track. At the summit, to find the Mt Wilson sign, you need to make a quick right BEFORE coming into the observatory yard and follow the fence/ steps to lookout. I missed it and wandered around the summit for 45 minutes before finding it.

4 months ago

Love this hike. I do agree that the signage could be a lot better. I had some images from a website that saved us a handful of times from getting lost. This hike always ends up being about 15-16 miles if you also do the waterfall. Also another mile gets added towards the end depending if you do the upper or lower section - don’t be fooled because that extra mile can be a killer. The last half mile up to the parking lot is also the worst. Big incline in direct heat after you just hiked mount Wilson. Bugs are an annoyance too.

BUT at the end you feel amazing and accomplished. It’s the first in the six pack of peaks so a feat for sure if you complete the full thing.

hiking
4 months ago

We started this trail from Chantry Flat Pack Station. We did it today, on a Thursday, and parking was no issue, nor was the trail busy. I will say this, with this being one of the six, Six-Pack a Peaks Challenge, you'd think part of that money would go to helping fund the trail (signs, ect), definitely not the case. It wasn't easy to navigate, and left you often wondering if you were headed the right way. With all of that said, it was a good hike. I'd rate it difficult, and it was a total of 16 miles (not 12.5 miles All Trails) to do the loop. We stayed left, once you cross the bridge. After coming back the other way, to complete the loop, I'd recommend staying right, after you cross the bridge. It's shorter to top, way less switchbacks, and not as steep; it's a more gradual climb, rather than the left turn route. We did not go to the falls; we were exhausted by that time,even for an extra .5 miles.
Our overall completed time was 6 hours 49 min, and maybe 30 minutes at the top. Oh and the cafe is only open Sat/Sun.

4 months ago

Did this hike from the Chantry flats area and my only advice is get there early or you will have a hard time with parking. We got there around 7am and the lot was already full. You can park on the side of the road but it gets backed up and you will have to walk up the hill to get to the trailhead.
My stat tracker on my phone logged 16 miles out and back so it’s a little longer than listed I think. A lot of people complain about bugs but I did this in March and it was still cool out so there were no bugs.
The hike going up is pretty easy till you get to the campground (with the swing). It starts to pick up a little after that and it seems like endless switchbacks till you eventually get to a T. You can go left or right and they both lead to the top but I took the option on the left.
It’s a beautiful hike and a pretty good workout so prepare. Took about 7 hours total.

hiking
4 months ago

Went last Sunday 4/22 with 3 friends got as far as the cabins hung out for awhile played with the pups talked with Pamela, she’s pretty cool, a friend and I stayed at the cabins last September for a music festival, that was a great time if you get the chance to spend a weekend up there I’d recommend it it’s very peaceful, anyway it is shady most of the way, it is tough most of the way, and it’s a good time all the way. It’s my favorite place to hike I’ve got 9 trips under my belt and Wilson keeps calling me back for more!
See you on the trail. M

hiking
4 months ago

Just went this past weekend with a hiking group starting out the 6 pack, and it was such a great time! We got there as soon as the trailhead opened and there was a line at the gate to get in, completely packing the parking lot as son as the gates opened a little after 6, so I would definitely recommend getting there at opening time like we did. Plus it takes pretty much all day anyway to hike it. restrooms at the trail head. Need Adventure pass (available at trailhead) or National parks pass to park or you will get ticketed. Let me just say, I was so impressed with the accommodations at the top! Actual bathrooms, running (hot!) water, a cafe with fresh hot food, coffee, plenty of seating-- such a great stop for lunch, I wish I brought money for coffee or something! A bit bummed we didn't take a picture with the sign, I couldn't find it. A bunch of cool camping spots on the way up, offering both cabin lodging or regular tent camping spots, might go back for camping some time. Folks at one of the cabins even offered us coffee and let us meet and greet with their puppers! I would recommend bringing bear spray-- although we didn't see any on our hike, we did see evidence of them, and they have been spotted frequently. Also bug spray, it got a bit buggy towards the end but not super horrible. TONS of poison oak lining the trail, so be mindful. Shaded most of the way and still went through 3 liters of water. Great views from the top, neat little places to check out along the way (including a tree swing, volleyball court, archery etc at one of the camping spots), beautiful waterfalls as an added bonus :)

hiking
5 months ago

15 mile hike up to Mt. Wilson via Lower Winter creek and Mt. Zion. Returned via Upper Winter creek. Nice day but hot in the sun near the end. Best part was finally getting a pic of a Bobcat, seen 4 total but this was the first one I was actually able to get a pic of.

hiking
5 months ago

arrived at 7:15 on Saturday morning and entire parking lot was full so we had to park .5 miles away from the trail head at chantry flats along the street (adventure pass is required even for street parking $5). entire hike took us 15 miles including putzing around at the summit and the observatory as well as the trek back to the car. hike is mostly shaded but I still recommend a hat and sun protection. hike is definitely not a beginners hike. my friends and I are completing the 6 pack of peaks challenge and this hike has been our third summit of the series. we got back to the car at 4:30 so entire hike plus one hour eating lunch and smoking a bowl at the summit made it a 9 hour mission. I recommend bringing 2-3 liters of water and snacks because this is an ALL day trek :)

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike, it was #dingsontribe 's first time on this trail and the beginning to our 6 pack challenge, turned out to be one of our favorite hikes so far! It's crowded, and I see why, absolutely beautiful hike. We dipped in the fresh stream, because of the rains the streams and falls are flowing strong. We have been used to hiking in blizzards and snow, and we found this mountain to be very warm. I didn't need to put my jacket on all evening. I found parts of the Sturtevant section very difficult as a person afraid of heights. Sections of that trail is extremely narrow and the drop immediate and steep. Ugh. We completed this hike with 2 of our trail doggies, even the narrow sections at Sturtvant was fine for them. One thing to pay attention to, in addition to the Adventure pass and getting there early because parking fills fast, the road closes at 8p. We took our sweet time to enjoy the mountain and started heading down the road to exit the mountain entrance and the gate was locked! We had to call the police station, whom both the dispatcher and officer were very nice, and wait for 30 mins for the gate to be unlocked. A minor inconvenience, but when you're tired it sucks. They come to the gate every hour, so just be aware of that. Don't forget to try and find the Mt. Wilson wood sign on top, somewhere on the observatory grounds and snap a picture, a camper told us we had to otherwise it didn't count. ha! by luck we did. Happy hiking!

5 months ago

Nice Hike, mostly in shade, today was mostly Kool about 60 to 70 maybe a little Kooler at top


Nice day started at 630 finished about 2 pm

hiking
5 months ago

Lost big toe nail going down hill. Really beautiful hike.

hiking
6 months ago

one of my favorite hikes in LA. the start of the trail takes you through green terrain with a creek and a few waterfalls. then the intensity kicks in with the multiple switchbacks but once you’re at the top and take in the views above the clouds you’ll feel one with nature and soak in your accomplishment. Then it’s back down through a parking lot and to the beginning. I also love it because it’s a loop. Enjoy. Bring lots of water and snack. You need to make sure you have an adventure pass.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun hike. The cool weather helped us keep a brisk pace, completing the loop in 7 1/2 hours. Disappointed that there wasn't much snow, which was only at the top. Winter Creek was pretty full though, which we crossed 6 times. The mule deer enjoyed watching us trek by.

6 months ago

best hike I've been on so far beautiful scenery

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