Mount Zion Loop - Sturtevant to Winter Creek Trails is a 7.8 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.
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.
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.
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!
One of my new favorite hikes! Simply beautiful
Strenuous hike but good.