Explore the most popular camping 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Loved this hike. Went with a group of 4 other ladies. Part of the SoCal 6 Peak Challenge. We ended up doing about 18 miles of hiking. Very very challenging. This was the first of our six, lowest in elevation, but one of the toughest as incline. The last 3 miles going up is lots of switchbacks and steep, narrow trail. Loved the following the creek almost all the way up. It did rain throughout our hike, but the tree acted as a nice umbrella for us. Cold once we got to the peak and our body temps started to cool down as we rested. Loved the Cafe on top, nice lunch and headed back down. Start your hike very early so you can get out before dark.

The directions from this site will take you all the way up to the peak- so just search for Chantry Flats address instead. The peak itself has little to offer, Other than that this is a beautiful place- long walk. The switchbacks are steep so be prepared to burn some calories. Have fun!

I am writing this after my ibuprofen has had a chance to kick in the day after! I am an older, slower hiker but I peaked this mountain yesterday. It was challenging yet so rewarding. It became steep after Spruce Grove Campground. The shaded, foggy trail kept me cool...making the uphill trudge more bearable. I loved reaching the top and going to the lookout area immediately to the right when you summit. You will find the elevation/Mt. Wilson sign there. After that, a trip to the Cosmic Cafe for some tasty food is a well earned treat.
I thought I got off trail on the way down. I would recommend getting the map at the little store at Chantry Flats. It includes the locations of all the campgrounds, call boxes, river crossings, etc. and can be helpful when your electronic devices don’t work.
My phone tracked this hike as a 17.5 miler...but that includes my doubling back when I thought I had gone off the trail I was supposed to be on AND getting to my car parked a ways from the trailhead. If I can do it, you probably can too!

Really nice hike! Lots of shade and wild flowers.

Did this route counter clockwise. It’s not 12.6 miles, more like 17.5 from our car at chantry flats. Beautiful hike up & down. I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. Trail gets pretty steep from sturtevant campground up to the summit. We also had great weather.

Awesome trail! Clocked it at 9.7 miles though, although without my gps watch I wouldn’t have guessed. The miles are easy, the scenery is amazing. The extra miles are from checking out the falls, and hitting mt Zion peak? Maybe? There’s a lot of trails within trails, so either use the map or have a clear idea of the different areas you’re headed. I went on a hot Tuesday afternoon (high said 81) and most of the trail was shaded so I was super comfortable temperature wise. Lots of beautiful flowers! Bring 2 liters of water and some good snacks! Took a bit less than 4.5 hours. Can’t wait to come back.

lots of fallen trees off trail and one at the campgrounds in the beginning but still nice trail.

I like hiking this loop in reverse as you seem to avoid the crowds by doing so.

Did this hike Saturday. Hard but enjoyable. We didnt have gps, but thank goodness another hiker did. We would have gotten lost for sure. Hiked up the backside first. Road less traveled. On the way down lots of trail splits. Ended up going 15.52 miles in 5.52 hours. Mt Wilson is badly marked and no elevation sign at top for photo op! Doing the 6 Pack of Peaks. 1 down 5 to go. Cucamonga Peak is next.

We hiked Mt Wilson early April. If you plan to hike during the weekend, make sure you arrive no later than 6am if you want to park in the lot. It gets filled really quick. As for the hike, it was a fun hike with the stream crossings. We did the loop around 14.6 miles in about 7 hours.

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Just went this past weekend with a hiking group starting out the 6 pack, and it was such a great time! We got there as soon as the trailhead opened and there was a line at the gate to get in, completely packing the parking lot as son as the gates opened a little after 6, so I would definitely recommend getting there at opening time like we did. Plus it takes pretty much all day anyway to hike it. restrooms at the trail head. Need Adventure pass (available at trailhead) or National parks pass to park or you will get ticketed. Let me just say, I was so impressed with the accommodations at the top! Actual bathrooms, running (hot!) water, a cafe with fresh hot food, coffee, plenty of seating-- such a great stop for lunch, I wish I brought money for coffee or something! A bit bummed we didn't take a picture with the sign, I couldn't find it. A bunch of cool camping spots on the way up, offering both cabin lodging or regular tent camping spots, might go back for camping some time. Folks at one of the cabins even offered us coffee and let us meet and greet with their puppers! I would recommend bringing bear spray-- although we didn't see any on our hike, we did see evidence of them, and they have been spotted frequently. Also bug spray, it got a bit buggy towards the end but not super horrible. TONS of poison oak lining the trail, so be mindful. Shaded most of the way and still went through 3 liters of water. Great views from the top, neat little places to check out along the way (including a tree swing, volleyball court, archery etc at one of the camping spots), beautiful waterfalls as an added bonus :)

Hiked to the summit Thursday, April 12, 2018 on a beautiful clear day. Three of us went up Winter Creek Trail to the top and then down Sturtevant trail and connected with Gabrileno Trail (meets this trail at the Sturtevant campsite) back to Chantry Flats. The full loop was 13.75 miles of which the last 1/2 mile was a fairly steep (albeit on a paved road) climb which was a bit of a kick in the teeth after going that distance and being an Illinois flat lander!

At first having reached the summit I was like “I wouldn’t rate this a hard climb” but after finishing the full loop I would concur that it is a hard level hike due to the length and unless you are used to hiking long distances don’t take it lightly.

Great views from the “bench” which you reach at about the 5 mile point on the way up. We could see all the way to the coast and great perspective of Los Angeles.

This was our first of the Six pack we hope to achieve over the next couple years while our son goes to school out in SoCal!

Great time of year to go I guess as we had no gnats or flies (which apparently are a big issue on the hike later in the summer).

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

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.

Great hike. Steep from Sturtevant Camp to just past 1/2 way rest area. Cosmic Cafe for food open weekends. Great scenery. Mostly shaded. Very busy from Chantry Flat to Sturtevant Falls but not bad after. Depending on time of year can be lots of bugs. Adventure Pass needed to park or you can buy one at trailhead for $5.00 day pass. Part of 6 Pack of Peaks. Went on Tuesday and only saw 5 hikers including one idiot who liked to talk loud on cell phone and liked to talk about terrorist. If you read this, please stop hiking, your an idiot.

Awesome hike! Make sure to leave before 8pm.(We got locked in.) :0)

This is a fun and strenuous hike. There is good tree cover and there are a few places along the trail where it's easy to take a wrong turn, so I'd recommend paying close attention. The observatory and cosmic cafe at the top are fun features. If you're in the mood for seclusion, this may not be the hike for you, but if you're feeling like a mountaintop banana split, then go for it.

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

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Not for the casual hiker. The total elevation gain is more then climbing Mt Whitney (on much lower altitude, of course). This is a Very Serious Workout. Incredibly varied landscape with great views. Up to Manzanita Ridge (3,400 ft climb) is a good workout. The section across Mt Zion was a bit less crowded then the rest. The climb to Wilson from Sturtevant Camp is another 2,400 ft up but generally pretty. Mt Wilson proper is build up, but at least there are restrooms and there is a working bottle fill station next to the cafe (cafe currently closed because of fires nearby). The unmaintained part section after you more or less jump off the toll road is exposed but was wonderfully quiet (overgrown: long pants required). Will probably do this again.

Never disappointed with any of the trails in this area. Parking is a nightmare get there warily, or Uber, pack station has WiFi.

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.

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.

I did this hike today and my biggest tip is be prepared. If it's in the winter or not even entered spring, bring a snow jacket because it is COLD and possibly snowing at the top of the mountain. Bring food, electrolytes, enough water, hiking poles (it DOES help), and maps.

I would definitely take screenshots on ways to get up to the mountain and down the mountain, it helped so much when my friend and I missed some turns. If a beginner went on this hike, I'd start early. We started close to 8 and it still took us about 7 hours, not counting the hour we spent at the summit. The difficulty of this hike is high because of the TIME it takes to complete it. Like it's JUST long. SO long... I didn't experience any bugs at all, but there are PLENTY of poison oak at the beginning of the hike, so wear long sleeve and pants. I feel very proud to have completed this because it is a challenge.

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!

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.

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.

Not a bad hike. Good weather and nice views. Can be a bit hazy at the Zion vista. The portion from the falls through the flats is fairly crowded. The rest of the train was only moderately trafficked. The trail markings are fairly poor and it is easy to make a wrong turn in the areas near the falls at 2 junctures.

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