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.

currently closed due to high risk fire season

This is a good, moderate trail to take if you don't mind a lot of sun exposure and some sporadic mountain bikes whizzing past you. We went on 11/10/8 and it wasn't too busy, just families and a trash clean-up crew. The trail is pretty wide and well maintained and there are a few scattered benches with nice views.
Overall, this is a good option for a quick hike away from the city and away from the normal crowds at the Eaton Canyon Waterfall and Nature Center. Bring water and a snack!

Had to learn to pace myself when running this trail. Good hills, nice views, overall had a lot of fun.

great hike

This trail descends into a valley then ascends on the other side to Charlton Flats picnic area, so the elevation gain is split up which was nice. The landscape and views are pleasant, but nothing spectacular (even for Angeles Forest), we enjoyed looking at the plants more than anything. I just wanted to get some steps and climbs in, so this trail did the trick. The trail was pretty much empty except for a caravan of mountain bikers. The beginning portion of this was shaded, which was a nice way to start and end the hike in the afternoon of a 70 something degree day. I would avoid hiking this on a sunny day in heat hotter than 80.

About 90% of this hike is shaded which is very nice for comfort but limits the view points. I guess it was nice to change it up from the dessertous terrain of SoCal. It was also nice because I got a late start but didn’t get caught in the worst of the sun. Btw parking is rough if you get there late, I parked 0.8 miles from the trailhead.

Started out this hike with what felt like a million other people, I was not excited and kept weaving around them. Around mile 4 where it splits off to summit Wilson, just past sturtevant camp, everyone disappeared. Yay. But I was immediate joined by eight million mosquitos. Luckily I had some bug spray, if I do this hike again, I’ll bring a head net. As others have said, the summit left much to be desired. No log book, signage, etc plus people can drive there so it doesn’t give you the same sense of accomplishment.

Worth mentioning, when you get to the burned area just before the peak, there is load of poison oak? I’m terrible at IDing plants but someone told me it was poisonous and what it looked like, it was scary especially with my dog but I think we made it out unscathed.

Made it up in 4 hours and down in 2.5. Overall not a bad day but def not my fav hike in SoCal.

I liked this hike a lot of inclines which is what I prefer. It starts off with a very steep hill going downward, this part will kick your ass in the end, but that's the hardest part. This hike is full of views of the hills and all the cabins! This is an old camp ground. Parking is $5, even if you park on the street which I thought was stupid!! I removed a star for that alone. Women be advised if nature calls they have no feminine care on site, nothing that can be purchased either. The information office said people would vandalize them. Lol ok...

hiking
14 days ago

Was a nice hike with lots of trees and it was really neat seeing the cabins and camp. There really wasn’t much water so I’m sure it’s more beautiful when there is. Was shaded most of the hike and the bugs were pretty bad for me. Was definitely a booty buster the last few miles! On the was back down I took the trail to Zion ➡️Hoegee’s camp ➡️back to Sturtevant. So it was more of a loop vs an out and back.

It looked like a good option on the map, the climb up to the ridge was a good workout and a good trail. Going down from Jones was rather miserable, steep and slippery, loose sand. Multiple braids to the route, make your own path with or without switchbacks. Trekking poles probably would help. Might be easier going up the ridge and come down the good trail? I did this on the way back from Mt. Wilson.

Disappointing amount of graffiti at Hermit Falls. Well trafficked trail. Nice once you get off pavement. Can take the leg off to sturtevant falls loop back on the paved trail to add another 2.5 miles or so.

hiking
19 days ago

Very good and very challenging hike. Some steep cliffs with long drops; watch where you step! The ascent wasn’t too tough but the descent down the winter creek trail was brutal; bring poles if you have them. Was bothered by bugs at times but not overwhelming. Would hike again!

indeed a very hard hike. it is actually 3.6 miles one way so 7.2 miles overall. lots of lizards but didn't spot any snakes. view from the top is good

hiking
28 days ago

Virtual Hike: https://youtu.be/lfNylOkTUto

This is one of my favorite hikes! The trailhead starts just before the Mount Wilson loop. Just before the loop, there is another set of big radio antennas, and a gated road that accesses those antennae. If you are driving up Mt. Wilson Road, the trail begins just before the gated road. Follow the outside of the chain link fence and you’ll find the trail. The trail is relatively untraveled, and at times it’s hard to know exactly where to go, but everything always leads back to a trail. There are portions where you can take a high road, or a low road, but you’ll have to do some ducking and make some tight squeezes past some trees at points. The incline is fairly easy, with little ups and downs throughout, and there is a little bit of a climb towards the peak. About halfway through the hike, you’ll reach a deserted helicopter pad, complete with a power outlet! Simply amazing views in all directions from this spot. There are also amazing views from the peak if you go under some brush to reach the far side of the peak. From there, Mt. Markham and San Gabriel Peak are within view, and boy they look magnificent. From the other side of the peak you can see the big antennae from where you hiked. I’ve hiked this trail in the morning and at sunset, both great times to enjoy this short, moderate hike.

Hope you enjoy!

Playlist for the trail: https://spoti.fi/2CTfO3o

Good trail but campground is overcrowded and overtrafficked. Lot of mountain bikers barreling through. Enjoy the day hike to Wilson. Water status unknown as of today. Will try to post an update on Sunday.

Consider making this hike a loop by continuing past Jones Peak down the Connection Trail to the Mt. Wilson Trail and back to the town of Sierra Madre.

Great hike! Not much water at the top but overall hike definitely worth the views! Trail didn’t have too much traffic and well kept up and easy to follow. I also saw deer on the way down :) Would definitely recommend!

There must be a better way down then the super steep scramble that may have you sliding down instead of hiking down. I did manage to come strait down from Jonas peak but thought it was a bit difficult. Wear pants due to the waist high slight bushwhacking down. Legs could get a bit cut up without pantsh. I could see how hiking sticks may come in handy. The switchbacks on the way up we’re a bit trying and at times steep. Found a cool lookout zone at the trail split from mt Wilson going up towards Jonas. Following Jonas peak trail going through what looks to be an old creek be careful for poison oak. Wear sunblock n bring enough water. Even in October I went through 1.5L. FYI: if you drive straight to this location Wilson trail head park has restrooms before you hike up so plan accordingly. Seen mountain lion poop and trails of paws coming down from Jonas peak. But no animals in sight...All in all enjoyed it.

Awesome 15 miles hike!!!

15 miles! Great hike

Always a great workout. I think most people take this trail to First Water or Orchard Camp, but if you continue all the way up to Mount Wilson, you'll be rewarded with amazing views of LA. The parking here is much easier than Chantry Flats, which is a disaster. Just park on the street in the neighborhood, and you're good to go. Granted, the Gabrielino Trail from Chantry is beautiful, but if you just need a good workout and an extra 600 feet of elevation gain without the parking hassle, I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Virtual Hike: https://youtu.be/Ufi15b3pKlI

What a fun and short hike! I arrived to Chantry Flats around 3PM, and there was plenty of parking available. (The drive up to Chantry Flats is quite enjoyable as well. The trail starts just down the stairs from the restroom. The trail at first is a paved road, but after less than 1/8 mile there is a sign that leads onto a real trail. You can’t miss it. The trail switches back and forth to the bottom of the canyon, where there are a few cabins, follow the trail down the canyon past more cabins and continue up a trail along the right side of the canyon. Within a few minutes you will reach a bunch of large boulders cut by the water. This time of year there isn’t as much water, but I was surprised to see as much as I did. There is an easy area of the falls to get to and hang out, but to see the main waterfall, you must climb down a set of rocks. Don’t worry, there are ropes with loops to make this easier. Once down to the waterfall, there is a nice pool of water that you can take a dip in. I was taken aback by how much graffiti and left over beer cans there are down there. Still enjoyable nonetheless. I saw a handful of people at the falls, just hanging out, and made some friends! Once done chillin’ at the falls, there is a significant climb back up the trail to Chantry Flats. Make sure you don’t waste all your energy at the falls because you’ll need it for the ascent. 700 feet in 1.5 miles ain’t a joke, but certainly a great workout, that on the last heatwave of the summer months leading into fall will have you sweating in no time!

All in all a wonderful hike and a great way to spend an afternoon!

Hope you enjoy!

Playlist for the trail: https://tinyurl.com/y9appm2e

This has a fantastic view and perfect for a one-day workout

Really pretty and challenging hike. As someone else has mentioned, reaching a parking lot at the top is not ideal. It’s just not the same kind of reward you get when you hike San Jacinto for example. If I were to do this hike again I think I would have someone pick me up at the top and drive me back to my car. Going up is always more fun than coming back down, at least for me.

If your looking for a trail hike and not a fire road this is it. From dirt to rocks, shade to sun, cool breeze to no breeze this here trail is #1.

Awesome loop hike. Bugs were really bad. I had to hike with a head net from strutevant camp to the summit. My GPS had me at 15.7 miles.

Increíble el dolor de piernas que causa! Muy recomendable. Llevar suficiente agua y repelente de mosquitos. En la cima hay un café por si a caso necesitan comer o tomar algo. La recorrí el 23 de septiembre y no hubo mucha gente, se debe de comprar el gafete para parking (5 usd).

I hiked on 9/22/18. started at parking lot at 0645, made it to the summit at 1215( yeah, I'll never break any speed records) at my age just finishing is a big deal.
Trail is beautiful, mostly in shade through forest, just gorgeous. last few miles to the summit are a bit rough. but of the 4 six pack of peaks that I have done this year. the is easily the most beautiful.
if you go on the weekends, the Cosmic Cafe is open at the summit. Had a killer hot dog, coke and cookie all for 10 bucks. a life saver. got back down to car at 515. so a full day hiking. Fyi, all trails has it as 11 miles, the signage on the trail show it round trip at 14. both my pedometers showed it 18. So go figure. Anyway a great day and an awesome hike. places to camp along the way also.

hiking
1 month ago

Went hiking here on a Thursday morning so parking was Not a issue. after the short walk to the trailhead we walk on a dusty path until we got deeper into the forest then you see how green and pretty it is. the water flow is a trickle, but I've been here before after the rain and it was flowing and beautiful. Right now it is like "hard mud" the insects are buzzing around the mud and water, you might want to bring bug repellant. I think I swallowed a bug ha ha. it's a easy hike to the falls, please be careful the rocks are huge and smooth. I have very good hiking boots and theres no grip, so slipping is possible and the water is low. I know this is a "cliff jumping" spot but looking at the low water and seeing the rocks I can't believe people jump off this. i think if they saw what's down there when the water is low they would think twice. So easy, good hike. Wish there wasn't so much trash and graffiti but you can still see the beauty in nature. #mountaingirl

Beautifuul walk

Wow what a butt kicker...Beautiful trail. Took the lower trail out ( this is the trail from the lower parking lot. It was shaded almost all the way to the top of Mt Wilson. I didn’t run into any bugs not even at the top. Up to the camp the trail is pretty moderate after that it’s all incline and you will feel it. We arrived around 6:15 am and there was only about 4 parking spots left. Not sure about the overflow parking. On the weekends there is a cafe open at the top of Mt Wilson and there are restrooms as well.

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