Upper and Lower Winter Creek Trail Loop

MODERATE 655 reviews

Upper and Lower Winter Creek Trail Loop is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sierra Madre, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from January until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1125 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

Lush, shady woods with a 50 foot high Sturtevant Falls and nice camp grounds. In this scenic loop trip form Chantry flat, you'll climb by way of the Gabrielino Trail to Sturtevant Camp, and return by way of the Mt. Zion and Upper Winter Creek trails. You start down a paved road (.06 mi) . There is a restroom at the end of the pave road. You edge along side a number of small cabins. At 1.4 miles, amidst a beautiful oak woodland, you come to a 4 way junction of trails. Take the time to see 50-foot-high Sturtevant Falls, a worthy trip. Take the middle (lower) trail -the more scenic and exciting alternative. This trail slices across a sheer wall above the falls and continues through miniature cascades and pools. About 2.8 miles into the hike you will reach Cascade Picnic where ther are restrooms. Another .7 you will reach Spruce Grove trail Camp. This is a nice place to stop for a snack or you can continue to Sturtevant Camp which is .1 miles where you can relax and have a swing. Cross a dam and take the MT. Zion trail to upper Winter trail. Canyon has limited parking. The 3 lots all fill up early in the morning on weekends, although on weekdays there is usually a lot of space available. In case you find the lots completely filled, parking is allowed on the road, but each car MUST be entirely behind the white lane or it will be ticketed by the Forest Service, or towed if it blocks the road. Each car must also display a Forest Service Adventure Pass or it will be ticketed, whether it's on the road or in one of the lots. There is often parking available at the pack station for a $5.00 fee, and an Adventure Pass is not required to park there.

4 days ago

Nice hike!

13 days ago

the trail down to the waterfall has a lot of shade but coming back is a lot of uphill also we got within 75 yards of the hermit Falls and the last part of the trail is almost too difficult none of us wanted to go up it but next week we're going to do Sturtevant Falls it's worth the trip

17 days ago

Nice

22 days ago

Nice loop for beginning hikers. Lots of shade and some nice scenery. Can be combined with Mt. Zion Loop or even with hike to summit of Mt. Wilson. Lots of options.

hiking
28 days ago

Nice Hike! Lots of cool little cabins and dams along the creek. I regret not taking the little detour to Sturtevant falls though :(

29 days ago

Great hike. As others have said the description on this hike is NOT 4.4 miles. Ended up doing 8 miles today. If you hike to the falls and hike back that is about 4.4 miles as an OUT AND BACK trail. Not a loop. Tried to do the loop as described without a map and it took way longer than expected.

1 month ago

Chantry Flats our favorite go to any trail here is a good trail. Draw back parking sucks! Get there early, or maybe Uber to and from from the REI on Santa Anita, pack station has WiFi.

1 month ago

Did the loop yesterday as it's one of our favorites. Quite a bit of water in the creeks but pretty easy to cross. The lower trail is almost entirely in the shade and not too busy once you get to the junction. Hogee's Campground is the perfect rest spot (several picnic tables) before returning on the upper trail. Sorry to see the outhouses are locked (one had its door smashed open). I always enjoy the panoramic views on the upper trail where the canopy opens and the descent starts.

1 month ago

This hike was great!! I took my golden on a Wednesday. Only ran into a few people on the trails. It’s amazing how much canopy there is so close to LA. I needed that!

1 month ago

We used this as a trial run with our gear this past Sunday. wonderful amounts of vegetation on the lower trail. lots of little crossings that are very easy. because of the recent rain they're lots of fallen trees and loose dirt on certain sections. was a wonderful day to hike up make lunch n hike out. get there early or add a mile to your hike from parking.

hiking
1 month ago

I was surprised by the lower part of the loop: lots of water...creek crossings, pools, etc. Very nice. Plan on doing an out and back to Mt. Zion sometime soon via lower WC trail. Looks like it is about 6 miles RT.

1 month ago

My favorite of all hikes

hiking
2 months ago

Good balance of grades

hiking
2 months ago

This is a pretty straightforward hike. Parking sucks unless you get there between 6-7am and requires a parking pass. My favorite part of the hike is toward the top where you’re surrounded by greenery everywhere. Hardly feels like you’re in LA.

hiking
2 months ago

Please be advised that the route in the “description” section is NOT 4.7 miles!! That distance is more in line with Hoagee’s to Upper Winter Canyon. The route described was almost 10.5 miles. That being said, it’s a super nice area to hike in. Get there EARLY as parking will fill up before 6:30am on the weekends.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail, however I feel they should maintain the toilet facilities much better since that’s what the “adventure pass” is for

3 months ago

Nice trail! Beautiful sights and sounds. Camp Hoegee was pleasant.

hiking
3 months ago

I've been hiking this trail for years, close to home and great little conditioning hike or just to enjoy nature for a while I suggest you go mid week as parking lot is full by early morning on weekends

3 months ago

I love that this trail is canopied. beautiful views of green mountains.

hiking
3 months ago

Bday hike in the rain :)

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike

trail running
3 months ago

Absolutely love this small loop! There is plenty shade, bathrooms, water streams, campgrounds. Some climbing but not too technical or difficult. Coming back to check out more parts of this trail.

4 months ago

Love the trail just make sure to go in the morning because the sun goes over the mountains around 1

hiking
4 months ago

Good little hike. 1000 feet of elevation. Cool temps. 90% shade. Just over two hours starting from the top of the paved road.

5 months ago

Beautiful during autumn!

5 months ago

Did this hike on a Monday, so had none of the parking problems of other reviewers. You can put $5 in an envelope and park at the Pack Station parking lot (beyond regular one) if you don't have an Adventure Pass.
The Lower and Upper Winter Trails make for a spectacular hike: you feel as though you are deep in the forest, yet you're not far from civilization. The many old cabins and lodges dotted throughout add to the atmosphere. The incline is steady but not overly challenging. As another reviewer points out, the Upper Winter Trail is narrow in parts with a fairly steep drop off, but I'm afraid of heights and it didn't ruin my experience. I'm recovering from a knee surgery and didn't find it too hard on my knees, either. I saw about 6 or 7 hikers on the trail, max. No bikes. A brilliant place to get some peace and quiet.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome spot. Come early to beat the crowds otherwise parking goes quick

5 months ago

You need to purchase a parking pass and the lot was full up. Nice moderate hike with lots of shade

hiking
6 months ago

Great day hike! Suggest to go early to avoid crowds and find good parking.

hiking
6 months ago

super fun beautiful view lots of animals

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