Mount Zion Loop - Sturtevant to Winter Creek Trails

HARD 205 reviews
#10 of 153 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
2217 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

6 days ago

Love the trail because there are a lot of shady areas and water. Cute to see the little cabins all the way up. The bugs are annoying sometimes.

hiking
6 days ago

Decent easy hike, but I would rate it moderate considering the distance. The trail has lots of shades and water running, which is nice on a hot day. Overall, a nice trail, but nothing amazing.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful weather, lovely scenery. This was a great hike!

hiking
7 days ago

This is great if you're looking for a hike in the LA area with a lot of green forest and shade. Once you get to the waterfall, it's a little tricky to find the trail to continue on to Mt. Zion. If I did it correct, you have to cross the creek, and make a steep ascent to the left of the waterfall. It may seem misleading, but it connects to a more obvious trail. Be sure to study the map well as the signs can be very misleading, and the written directions may be incorrect at times.

hiking
13 days ago

Loved this trail and would consider it a challenging moderate hike. The trail gets a little unclear in a few spots but the ascent is beautiful and serene and the waterfall is a nice surprise. The trail head was packed by 6:30 a.m. so go early if you want to find parking or else you’re going to be walking a long distance just to get to the trail. I would’ve given it five stars, but the trail was overly crowded for my taste.

Gorgeous trail. Felt like we were in an enchanted forest. Only saw about 4 other people during our 10 mile loop. If you want a challenging yet peaceful and romantic hike, this is your place. The view from the top of the waterfalls as well as all of the pristine clear freshwater pools is breathtaking.

hiking
23 days ago

So this was my first time in this area. Physically, it wasn’t that tough of a hike but we definitely hit a couple of sections of really janky trail.
Just before Sturtevant Waterfall there was 5 or 6 foot section where it looked like the trail/rock got sheered clear away. And the drop was probably about ~70 feet. That said, we met up with some backpackers at Spruce Grove who mentioned that they had been warned about that part of the trail but didn’t encounter anything like that. So I’m wondering if there is another way over the waterfall?
The only other thing that caught me off guard was how much sun we got as we descended the west part of the loop. I didn’t realize the switchbacks we so exposed and got blasted by the morning’s sun for a good mile.
Still, it was a great hike. My teenage kids and I had a lot of fun!

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful trail!! It ended up being exactly 10 miles for me and took a little less than 4 hours to complete. There were a couple times where I got off trail and had to slide down the mountain to find it again, but I still made it to the end!

hiking
1 month ago

great challenge for beginners gives a good perspective as to what preparation is needed for mt Wilson, found its beauty is like no other, 80% shady trail

3 months ago

I went on Sunday and parking was horrible. I made a few circles waiting for a spot to open up. Make sure you have a day pass, it's $5. If you start and go up and hit the water fall first then Mt. Wilson where the observatory is, and come back around that way, it's approximateky 14.5 miles. It's tough but the views are great and it was definitely worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail, meets the qualifications of "hard", mostly for quality of trail and a few steep grades. Some washed out sections, one on steep rock cliffs, and a few boulders and trees to climb over. Fun, but not for young kids.

Most is beautifully shaded, and accompanied by water, with the exception of the 1.5 miles coming down from Mt Zion. Check out Sturtevant Camp as you pass it near the half way point.

4 months ago

bring bug spray!!

hiking
4 months ago

Take lots of water lol that’s all I have to say

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail and mostly under cover of trees, which makes it easier to get through the 10 or so miles. So much to look at from waterfalls to cabins, Creek dams and so much more. Was fortunate to see a dear and a snake. So much fun, next time going to check out the observatory.

hiking
5 months ago

Great Hike. Distance is actually 12 miles

hiking
5 months ago

This is a pretty hard trail, for me anyways, but it was great.

hiking
5 months ago

This is my favorite trail!

5 months ago

Great loop trail. Nice coming downhill into the parking lot instead of back up the paved road.

6 months ago

Very nice trail uphill. Not many views.

hiking
6 months ago

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