San Olene Fire Road [CLOSED]

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Chantry Flat Recreation Area

San Olene Fire Road [CLOSED] is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sierra Madre, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,187 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

forest

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

closed

NOTE: Users have reported that the road leading to the trailhead is closed 3.4 miles short due to COVID-19. You can still park and walk to the trailhead. Please check with the park for updates.

hiking
closed
11 days ago

We were looking for a low-traffic trail to hike (because there are so many people in Griffith Park this weekend and half of them aren’t wearing masks), so we came here today hoping to hike without encountering as many people. We thought it would have been re-opened by now like other trails in LA, just with mask and social distancing guidelines. But the road is still blocked 3.4 miles before the trailhead, with law enforcement by the gate turning people away. There were cars and people everywhere, though, and we decided just to leave. I can’t actually evaluate the trail since we didn’t get to hike, but I can’t post this FYI without choosing a star rating, so I’m just doing a neutral three stars...

hiking
2 months ago

At least today, Sunday, and probably because of COVID, the street is closed at the base so you can not get to the trail head by car. It’s about 3.4 miles to the trailhead to the base so we walked up that, and back.

5 months ago

there is a Switchback Trail right near the helipad that you're not going to find unless you go behind the building we didn't see it so we went up upper winter Trail then we got three miles in expecting this hike to be a loop we ran into some bicyclists and they said there is no Loop up on this road so we had to backtrack three miles back and that's when we found this little Trail behind the helipad no signs or anything not a whole lot to see if it's not a clear day but the hike overall is moderate

hiking
over grown
rocky
8 months ago

Today I hiked the complete loop including the San Olene water tank peak and the southern leg of the fire road. After hiking to the heliport, I turned north and continued along the main fire road through many wooded areas which led to the water tank cutoff at 3.1 miles. And after taking this cutoff for about 1/3 of a mile, I arrived at the San Olene water tank. Here’s your first trail option. You can double back and pick up the fire road or you can ascend the peak above the water tank. I choose the latter and with views of Harvard Mountain to the west, the trail quickly rose about 200 ft. However, I had to descend back to the fire road using a rocky and overgrown path. That’s option one. Once back on the fire road from the water tank, you have your second trial option. You can pick up the less traveled southern leg of the hike or double back along the fire road... both options lead back to the heliport. I choose the southern leg which descends very quickly for 2/3 of a mile and deposits you behind the heliport maintenance building. From there you can pick up the fire road back to the trailhead. That’s option two. If you want hike the full loop (Including the southern leg), I recommend ascending the southern leg first (from the heliport) and then return along the gentler path of the fire road. Either way, it’s an invigorating hike!

hiking
11 months ago

Not as popular, for good reason, as the other trails out of Chantry Flats, but still a very nice trail for what is essentially a fire road. The first half mile or so to the helipad is paved, but after that, it's double track dirt through oak woodland. We didn't see much through the "June gloom," but from the map I presume there would be nice views of San Olene Canyon and the San Gabriel Valley. We turned back about 3/4 of the way through the loop because the final stretch seems to be either a firebreak or a use trail -- we couldn't see through the fog -- and the use trail I found was washed out. We turned back on the fire road. But still, a nice little hike.

Sun Dec 30 2018

If you do this as a loop, the ascent is pretty brutal. “Hard” not moderate. Rest of the hike is easy. You want hiking boots and a good fitness level if you do the loop ascent. The “loop” part is basically a cut straight up the mountain once you get to the helicopter pad. Then you take the gentle fire road back down. Entrance to the loop part is around back of the building beside the helipad. It’s not marked but walk around the back of the building and it’s easy to spot. If I did this again I would do it as an out and back, up the fire road and then back down. The ascent is a pretty unpleasant scramble, unless you’re into that sort of thing. Overall this is a beautiful hike, low traffic and great views.

hiking
Tue Jun 19 2018

I really did adore this trail. I want to say that off the bat, and state that the only reason this review is missing a star is because I could not locate the trail that looped this fire road back to the starting point, so I wound up hiking this as an out-and-back. I hiked this on a beautiful, overcast June day. Much of this trail is shaded anyway, but it was nice to have the cloud cover and cool temp in the uncovered spots, including the top. I only ran into one pair of hikers early on, and one family of 4 or 5 descending from the peak of the hike. The road is paved (and used by vehicles, so keep your headphones out for this portion at least) from the picnic area up to the heliport. I saw a ranger service truck parked on the heliport on my descent, but no one was there when I was going up. The trail is mostly up at a steady grade on the ascent, which meant I flew back down in no time with trekking poles. Nice wide fire road and trail, but it is fairly rocky for most of the unpaved portion. Make sure you stop and grab a deet packet or two from the Pack Shop, because the bugs are real persistent towards the top of the hike. Many beautiful wildflowers were blooming when I was up there. The family I ran into mentioned the loop trail, and I asked them to leave something to mark the trail, but I never found a marker nor the trail itself. I am curious to check the reviews in a few more months and see if anyone else was able to find it. Also, try to get there early. Parking is slim on weekends, and you WILL need an adventure pass (available at the Pack Shop, along with snacks, drinks, hot food, etc.). PLEASE be careful if you park alongside the main road.

hiking
Mon Apr 02 2018

Lots of good qualities about this trail. Lots of peace and quiet. Wide path which would be good for groups with 5 or more. Great vista points. Path is very scenic. Moderate/Strenuous inclines most of the way. Few FYI's...Wear good hiking shoes because there are lots of rocks embedded in the trail as well as portions of the trail being sandy. Bring plenty of water with... you will be climbing. Bug spray recommended.Why? There are mosquitos along the trail. They did not bother me but they harassed my wife until we got to the higher elevation. So if you are partial to them coming after you then spray yourself before you head up. Also I would not recommend this trail for kids under 12 due to the constant incline.

hiking
Mon Jan 08 2018

If you are currently training your dog to walk on a leash, I highly suggest this trail due the light traffic and wide roads. However, expect a large amount of traffic in the parking lot. The other trails in this canyon are increasingly popular. Beautiful view at the top when it's clear.

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

road biking
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

recorded San Olene trail

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sat May 18 2019

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Sat Apr 20 2019

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Sat Apr 06 2019

hiking
Sun Dec 02 2018

Sun Sep 30 2018

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Tue Sep 18 2018

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Tue Jul 31 2018

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