Mount Zion Loop - Sturtevant to Winter Creek Trails

HARD 143 reviews
#11 of 139 trails in

Mount Zion Loop - Sturtevant to Winter Creek Trails is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Sierra Madre, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2660 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

views

waterfall

wild flowers

over grown

A beautiful multi-landscape trail with many waterfalls and trees. Offers a challenging and well-maintained trail. Big Santa Anita Canyon offers something for everybody. If you are traveling with young children, the short hike from Chantry Flat to Sturtevant Falls is rewarding and great for an easy morning or afternoon hike. However, if you're interested in something more substantial, you can follow the Big Santa Anita Loop trail. The scenery along the trails in this area is really beautiful, especially along the river. There are many waterfalls, albeit most of them manmade, but are sure to soothe your soul. Plentiful greenery in the form of trees, shrubs and various indigenous plant life make this trail special in its own right. Add to that incredible vistas of both the canyon and the mountains surrounding Mt. Wilson. Many times you'll have to remind yourself you are in Los Angeles County! The loop climbs steadily from the area of the 55-foot tall Sturtevant falls. The highest point of the main loop is about 3400 feet. Many hikers choose to bring trekking poles for this trail. A remote campground about 3.5 miles into the loop offers up some picnic tables, pit toilets, and of course, a place to make camp if you choose to stay overnight. There are roughly 6-7 spots and if you plan on having a fire, be sure to bring along your fire permit. Another unique aspect of the Big Santa Anita Canyon loop trail is the variety of terrains you'll cover. Sometimes you'll be deep in the forest and at other times you'll feel like you're in somewhat of a desert. If you are a local, this is a great hike to do over and over again. However, beware that during the summer months, it can get quite hot and the bugs can be very annoying, especially while standing or sitting still. The Adams Pack Station in Chantry Flat offers some supplies and essentials as well as treats such as ice cream, soda, and water. Parking can be very crowded on the weekends in Chantry Flat and you'll likely need to park along the mountain to get a spot in the mornings. Make sure to have an Adventure Pass to park along the road.

hiking
5 days ago

I'm pretty sure this trail is a lot longer than posted here. We went up one side to Sturtevant Camp and came back down the same side because they didn't recommend going down the other side. Since it was our first time here, we listened. It took us 12.2 miles and almost 5 hours. Try to get the map ready to record before you go up into the mountain because once your there, you will most likely have no service. I was driving and didn't think to get it ready before we went up, but my husband had his ready to record. Make sure to also get your pass to park and don't park on the red. They were issuing tickets to these cars when we walked by.

This trail is gorgeous and even nicer once you go further up from the falls. The further you go, the less people there are and the more nature-y it is. Lots of small falls and rivers throughout the trail. So many butterflies and lady bugs. We saw a couple of snakes, so just keep an eye out for them.

This is probably the best hike we've done. Good luck!

hiking
5 days ago

7 days ago

Hiked this trail today- 3rd time over the last couple years. Really a great and challenging day hike, especially once you get beyond Sturtevant Falls and the crowds that turn around there. It took about 4 total hours with picture and snack/water stops. Seems like there were more wildflowers this time and at least one variety I hadn't seen before. Also, the poison oak is encroaching on the trail at leg level right now- beware. Maybe this is because of the rains. A lot of butterflies this year, too. I spotted maybe 4 different types. Also saw bear scat and scratches on trees and heard a lot of owls. One pro tip: after the halfway mark stop at one of the creeks and take you shoes/boots and socks off and soak your feet in the cold water. It really is rejuvenating. In the second half the of the hike, I prefer to deviate from the route shown here and take the upper trail. It adds another mile and is nice. Also, I like to continue up to Mount Wilson sometimes (not today) and come back down the same trail and finish this loop. That adds several more miles and a lot more elevation gain, but the view is nice up there and it's cool to see the telescopes. One more note: the little store at Chantry Flats closes at 3 pm, so plan your hike early enough so you can get back in time to get a treat. You deserve it after this hike!

11 days ago

Sunday 6/11/17. Parked 6.15am - lot 1/3 full. Walked down asphalt road to trail junction. Followed Gabrielino (Lower) to above Sturtevant Falls, continued onto Spruce Grove Camp and Sturtevant Camp. From there over to Mt Zion then down to Hoagee. Instead of taking Lower Winter Creek Trail (crowded plus has asphalt climb at end), I took Upper Winter Creek Trail which is one mile longer for a total of 9 miles. Great hike. Moderate-to-hard. My favorite now. As part of the Upper Winter Creek trail I did go up the trail that goes up towards Mt. Wilson - at Manzanita Ridge (2 miles) I stopped and turned around back (4 extra miles total). On this section I was confronted by a bear cub (about 250lbs) who was scared off by the whistle attached to my CamelBak. This section up the the Manzanita Ridge is certainly hard. Great cloudy weather. Love June Gloom.

hiking
16 days ago

19 days ago

This trail was amazing. There are some parts that you actually forget how close you are to the city. My favorite Angeles Nation Forest hike yet.

hiking
20 days ago

Gorgeous path!!!

25 days ago

Awesome for a days hike :)

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

1 month ago

awesome hike. make sure and hang a bear bag. other than that beautiful place like another world

1 month ago

1 month ago

One of my favorites around LA, if not my favorite.

hiking
2 months ago

My favorite day hike in LA so far.

Pros: Lots to see along the way including lots of water and green stuff. Good shade for the majority of the trail.

Cons: Parking. I got to the trailhead at 8:20am on a Saturday and still had to park a mile down the road.

backpacking
2 months ago

This is a great workout. The first part of the trail is VERY busy on weekends and if you don't get to the trailhead shortly after the gates open, be prepared to park on the access road and walk up to the trailhead. Cars will end up lined up about a mile down the road. Even if you don't park in the lot you need an adventure pass, so make sure to get one beforehand or at the camp store to the left of the lot to avoid a ticket! After you hike be sure to stop by the store and grab a drink or a burger to support them. The burgers are actually really good too. The trail is very busy for the first section until you reach the falls and then the crowds disappear. Spruce Grove Campground is nicely covered by large trees and well spread out. Its on the hill beside the river so you get the nice calm sound all night while you sleep. After continuing on the hike you'll reach Sturtevant Camp which has a bunch of single room rental cabins and a large communal center which is open on weekends. Theres a big swing so it's a good place to snap some pictures! Continuing on the loop you'll pass the trail up to summit Mt. Wilson and then come to the Mt Zion Summit trail. Its a very short offshoot and the view is totally worth it. It's a challenging but overall fun hike and the last section is all in the sun away from the water so be sure to have enough water. Also lookout for rattle snakes sunning themselves. We encountered about a 3 footer basking on the last section. Happy Hiking!

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago