Explore the most popular birding trails near Sierra Madre with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful, hike down to a stunning waterfall and stream- we normally hike down with lunch and swim and then hike back. The hike normally takes the better half of the day. Keep in mind there are no bathrooms on the trail but plenty of secluded areas to “g” in nature. Also, Peking gets very full so I recommend going early in the morning

Super invigorating hike with lots of pretty views to guide you to the top! Beware of bugs, use bug spray, and focus on the trail because it’s possible to veer off and end up somewhere unexpected. Up to the falls is a short in and out hike, however you will have an option to go further and reach mount Zion or mount Wilson, or to chantry flats. Come here if you want a challenge but with shade during hot days!

Awwsome hike in to Spruce Grove CG. The campground has a lot of trees so it's great for hammocking. Overall the CG is clean and the outhouses were pretty clean for what they are. I still prefer just digging a cat hole over any outhouse though. There is water at camp (though the water level is low) and should be treated before drinking. Saw a few deer come through camp along with multiple squirrels as well as a small black bear (hanging your food or a bear canister is a must). Also, make sure that you bring bug spray as all of the biting menaces are out in full force.

My Buddy and I biked this trail this hot morning. Started at 7 Am parking was full, lots of hikers ........No bears but we did see lots squirrels a hawk and lots of butterflies!..... definitely cooler in the lower parts .....Dear Hikers please coordinate with bicyclists for safe passage in the narrow sandy trail parts .....! Dear cycling brothers hang a bell on your bikes it makes hikers aware of your presence.....stay safe and hydrated......love light and good vibes from Victor!!!

Beautiful trail. We did see a brown bear. Too close for comfort. Made lots of noise. All are safe.

I saw a baby bear there on July 2. It’s a good hike but start early as there’s little shade and the sun is very strong in mid afternoon

hiking
10 days ago

Great for the seclusion. As others have mentioned the summit is not much to look at but overall it was fun. Reward yourself with some junk food if the vendor is open when you go.

Kind of a boring hike to be honest. You hike all that way to reach a parking lot filled with families that drove up there to eat at the cafe. Won’t be doing this hike again anytime soon. At least it was a six pack crossed off the list. There are much better hikes then this long, boring, mosquito filled, non-rewarding summit.

hiking
14 days ago

Did this yesterday as part of the 6pack peak challenge.

1st, like everyone says, definitely not 12.5 miles. My All Trails recording clocked in at 14.7 with 5100ft of elevation gain. Once you cross the bridge at the bottom of the canyon, we went right and loved the views along the creek all the way to Sturtevant Camp, so much so that I had to google the history behind all the cabins this morning.

The camp is a great spot to recharge for the remaining 3 miles to the top because they were brutal. Tons of switchbacks. lots of elevation gain. So glad I had my hiking poles with me.

Hung out for an hour up at the top, refilled our camelbaks and set out for the trek down. The first two miles were in direct sunlight through a burn area, so pack your sunscreen. But like everyone below, look out for the left turn onto Wilson Trail. Then another left. Lots of switchbacks down. Hard on the knees. Again, poles were super helpful.

Once you get back to the bridge, you then have to trek the .5 miles straight uphill in direct sun again to get back to the parking lot. That was “fun” after completing the 14 mile loop. But after all was said and done, it was a fun loop, great scenery with a little bit of history and I got to put my Adventure Pass to use.

Note: sunscreen, bug spray and lots of water were musts. I went through 3.5L through the whole thing. I even brought some Cliff Shot Blocks (with extra sodium) that saved my legs from cramping up.

15 days ago

Great hike super easy overnighter but tons of bugs

My favorite hike in the Angeles National Forest. The canyons are so lush and there is so much water, and the Mt. Zion trail is excellent -- well graded and not too steep. And beer at the end and the pack station!!!

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful Leisure walk going down. Definitely a tough hike. Incline coming up is a booty buster!

favorite hike in L.A so far!

Joined my co workers on the 6 peak challenge socal and this was our first one to climb. Ive done hiking before but this one was the hardest ive ever done but then again i wasnt on my fittest either but regardless of being fit or not its one tough cookie! Great experience and one for the books. I didnt get to make it to the top but proud to say i completed close to 11 miles total! Do recommend to take enough water to hydrate, early hike, sunblock, good hiking shoes/gear.

Camped at Hoegees Trail Camp this past weekend 6/23/18-6/24/18. Plenty of water at camp to filter and it wasn’t that crowded. Arrived at the campground in the morning of 6/23, upon arrival the camp was full but everyone was packing up to head out and around 9:00 AM I had the campground to myself till 1:00PM when a couple of other backpackers rolled in for the evening. However there were plenty of day hikers passing through.
In the early evening a huge brown bear came strolling through that also scared a few day hikers off of the trail into the camp, we managed to scare it off after a lot of yelling. However, the bear came back later in the evening and ending up getting my bear bag that was hanging from a tree, not sure how I managed to sleep through it bur some other campers that were up said the bear went after the line and was able to drop the bag, WTF? Anyways my bag was gone as well as a few other camper’s food bags as I found what was left of my bear bag on the hike out along with several other torn up food bags. The next time I come I’ll probably bring a bear canister.

Nice steady hike. Only went as far as Hoegee’s campground then turned backed. Didn’t see a waterfall. Watch for mountain bikers up/down trail.

One of my favorite local hikes

it was a nice hike but it's farther than it says on the app and there was no waterfall at the end because they're wasn't much water but it's a nice hike and just enough shade

Definitely challenging. Gnats, mosquitos, and poison oak are in full effect. Going up thru Sturtevant is particularly steep in last 2-3 miles to the summit; other side is more gradual. But the entire trail was shaded (at least 80%, minus the summit).

All Trails' directions leads you to the summit (DON'T USE IT). Google Maps to Chantry Flats. We clocked the full loop at 14-16 miles, not the 12.6 miles on All Trails.

Cosmic Cafe is a legit place to eat. Apple pie with ice cream was out of this world!

This hike took me over three hours so I agree it must be more than 8 miles and needed this application to stay on trails because it is not always clear. It was the best hike I have been in Southern California. Lots of trees, and lots of water. Nice historical sites too. It is difficult in terms of miles and some narrow/rocky passages but the trail is well established in most places. There are mosquitoes and poison oak.

hiking
26 days ago

This trail is really fun. A mixture of nice bush and pine trees to high elevation desert plants. The trail itself is well maintained but it isn’t well sign posted for this particular loop. I had the map for the trail downloaded and had no issues but if I had no map I would’ve struggled in a few places. It took me about 4 hours to get up to the top of the trail and 2 hours to get down.

The top of the trail has an area for sitting that overlooks the area and a clean tap for filling up drink bottles.

completed this trail last weekend and we knew it was rated difficult but the mileage is way off. it says 12.6 but we charted 16.2 miles with an apple watch. make sure you have a full day to complete this hike. if you are not in top shape it will take you more than half the day. beautiful hike and definitely recommend.

A Beautiful hike! It's so amazing to find such a lush oasis of nature just minutes from the metropolis of LA. The hike is strenuous and exhilarating, but not necessarily difficult. There are only a few spots where one might put a hand on the rock for stability. The trails are meticulously maintained, well marked, yet deserted on a weekday morning. This route weaves in and out of multiple terrain and flora zones. We saw brazen deer and signs of bear. The June flowers were captivating: from giant yucca sprays to fields of monkey-flower, from lupin to phacelia, and many dozens I cannot name. Care must be taken in the shade as the abundant poison oak often invades the trail. Sturtevant Camp was peaceful, but there were too many mosquitos to stop and eat. My GPS recorded 10.7 mi, including Mt Zion, excluding the waterfall trail.

hiking
27 days ago

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.

This trail is NOT 5.1 miles. It's more than 50 miles long and extends through most of the San Gabriel mountains. (Closely follows the PCT at some points) The section from the trailhead pick-up located on Angeles Crest Highway to Charlton Flats is probably what the 5.1 miles is meaning.

The hike is fairly easy and short but get there early because it shares a parking lot with a bunch of other hikes (including Mt. Wilson) and it will be full by 7am.
The falls themselves aren’t really that special and they get crowded I didn’t really care for all the graffiti. Kids will be cliff jumping, which I don’t recommend.
Not my favorite waterfall hike in the area but if you’re into jumping off of cliffs, it’s an option.

A good warm up trail for Mt Whitney training.

Fun trail. It’s a little short, but a good quick workout

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail with a group of 6 on Friday, June 8. Arrived at parking lot 6:30am and it was nearly empty (weekday). We also came across very few people on the trail. Not the most scenic hike but definitely a tough workout. After Spruce Grove Campground, the going gets very tough due to steeper incline and includes mosquitos and other flys. Note the weather was not hot. I got bit about 6 times each leg and had the spray which helped somewhat. I think a face net would have helped as well.

CAUTION: The trail is not marked well in many areas as we came across a few junctions which did not have a sign. And then on the way down while taking Mt. Wilson Toll Rd, we ended up missing a left turn for “Mt Wilson trail” towards what should have become Winter creek trail. We didn’t realize this mistake until we were already 2.5 miles down Wilson Toll Rd near Henninger Flats. There’s a difference in “Wilson toll road” and “Wilson trail”. A friend of mine who ran this trail 3 weeks back also missed this turn initially until running back up. After going back and reviewing the photos on web, I believe the sign is also faded for the left turn to Wilson Trail/Winter Creek.

Realizing we had spent all our energy uphill and how far we were from winter creek, we reviewed the paper map (not very helpful if you get far off trail) and our phone map. After checking our phones (only Verizon worked and thank goodness), we decided to keep hiking down eventually leading us to the start of Eaton Canyon trailhead. We then had to Uber back to Chantry Flats. Phone clocked nearly 18-20 miles hiking.

The trail signs really should be more clear. This does not excuse us from being fully prepared as we should have been. Lesson learned for future adventures.

Did a solo trip with my dog. It was my first time making it all the way to mt wilson. Very difficult after sturtevant camp cabins all up hill. Amazing views. Definitely will go back on a cooler day.

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